The Life and Times of Patuone
Life and Times of Patuone
Life and Times of Patuone.
Eruera Maihi Patuone, the late venerable and deservedly respected Chieftain of the Ngatihao tribe, Hokianga, whose demise took place at his residence, Waiwharariki, North Shore, Auckland, at the advanced age, it is believed, of 108 years, sprang from a noble line of ancestors, whose names, though engraven on the memory of their descendants, need not be recorded here.
Patuone's father, Tapua, was a renowned warrior Chieftain of capacious mind, and the priest of his tribe. The civil and religious dictatorship being entrusted to Tapua, he must have been on the pinnacle of Maori greatness, and hence it is that we find a large space allotted to himself and family in the annals of Maori history. The wife of Tapua was a woman of some celebrity, by name, Te Kawehau. Their children were: Tari, a daughter, who became the wife of the great Bay of Islands Chief, Te Wharerahi; and four sons. Two of these, Te Anga, and Te Ruanui, Fell in battle while fighting by their father's side; page 6the others were Patuone, the subject of this memoir; and the famous Tamati Waka Nene, of whom honorable mention, on various occasions, was made by the Imperial Parliament, the Colonial Legislature, and the Press. Of this latter, the Church Missionary Intelligencer for 1850 says:—"This Christian Chief has been, for many years, one of the foremost friends of the British, as he abundantly evidenced in the war with Heke and Kawiti. For his services on this and other occasions he has been rewarded by Government with a pension of £100 a year, the first payment of which he generously devoted to building a mill for the benefit of his former enemies, as a peace offering, and compensation for their losses."*
* Wi Waka Turan was also a son of Kawehau; but by her second husband.
The statements made by Patuone in relation to the anchoring of the "Endeavour" at the Bay of Islands, the presentation of cloth to the Chiefs, and other incidents minutely detailed from mem-page 9ory at this remote time from the actual occurrences cannot fail to heighten our interest in the departed truth-loving Chieftain, who was thus early associated with British worthies of whom we are so justly proud; and, for the honour of Patuone, be it chronicled that, from that time till the close of his earthly career, he never ceased to consider himself bound by the strongest ties to serve and befriend, in every possible manner, the European race; nor was the affectionate appellation by which he was known to the early settlers of the North wrongly bestowed, namely, "Father of thePakeha."
Three years after Cook's visit, Marion du Fresne landed at the Bay of Islands, and, unfortunately, was massacred with many others by the Maoris, who were in turn decimated by the French. Volley after volley of musketry was fired among the whole body of New Zealanders on the beach, who, stupefied by terror, stood like sheep to be slaughtered. No mention being made of Patuone in the reports of Marion's death, he was most probably at his settlements on the Hokianga.
As the brothers, Patuone and Nene, grew in years, the father discovered probably the difference in their dispositions; and though ignorant of page 10the solemn and touching summons of the Hebrew Patriarch to his children—"Gather yourselves together, ye sons of Jacob, that I may tell you that which shall befal you in the last days;" ignorant of Jacob's appeal to his children, yet Tapua, patriarch like, called his sons to hear his prediction. To Nene, the younger brother, he said:—"Hei tangata kino koe; mau e hapai te pakanga," i.e., "Thou wilt be an evil man, an upholder of war;" and to Patuone, the elder brother, he said:—"Hei tangata pai koe, mau e hohou te rongo," i.e., "Thou wilt be a good man—a peace maker," which characteristic, during Patuone's lengthened sojourn in the world, has been eminently exemplified, his presence among belligerent tribes being almost always looked upon as the harbinger of peace;—and certainly it would be most difficult to find a more amiable, peace-loving, disinterested person among the Maori tribes than was the late Patuone,—the last representative of the illustrious Tapua family. Like most of his countrymen, however, he was trained to the use of the spear and club;—and we find him, when quite a youth, on the battle field at Kaipara, where a goodly number of his people fell, and from which scene of slaughter he made his es-page 11cape after a personal combat with the Chief Tatakahuanui, whom he slew with a green-stone axe, and who, says Patuone, "rushed on me striking me down. We rose together, when my assailant aimed another blow at me which I warded off. After a short struggle, I felled him to the ground, and calling to my companions, three in number, who were flying before the enemy, they gave me a tomahawk with which I cut off my man's head and carried it away in one of my garments. Some time afterwards, I overtook the main army, and Hongi, the leader, seeing my garments besmeared with blood, said,—'What stains are these on your garments?' I replied, 'I have something here,' alluding to the head of the slain man I carried in my vestments." Patuone further observes, "There was fighting at Kuratope, in the Bay of Islands district, but, before it commenced, I asked this question,—'Surely you do not intend to fight?' The opposing party replied, 'Indeed we do.' Firing continued for some time and I was wounded in the arm and in the leg. This was the first time your weapon, the gun, had been used by me. I fired, killed one man, and threw down my gun; and while my wounds were smarting, a man rushed upon me page 12with a club; we closed, and wresting the weapon from him, I despatched him with it. Our party numbered sixty, none of whom were killed, and as the enemy left us in possession of the battlefield, we carried off the bodies, which, in accordance with the customs of those days, were consumed by us, but when the law of Christianity came," adds Patuone with characteristic thoughtfulness, "all such evil deeds were abandoned."
We shall presently refer to a singular story in connection with the Tapua family, which no doubt will be dismissed by many as a wild superstition and unworthy of notice; but whatever opinion may be formed respecting it, the relation is valuable, because it discloses to us the belief of the old Maori in a future state, and in the immortality of the soul. It may be allowed me to observe here, that the ancient Maoris, as far as can be gathered from their traditions, apprehended a Supreme Being known under various designations, as Ranginui, i.e., the Heavenly Great, &c. Direct communication with the inhabitants of the first and up to the twentieth heaven was also an article of faith, the heavenly visitants occasionally descending to communicate messages to men. There were gods and goddesses too, residing in the air, page 13on the earth, and in the sea, to whom prayers and propitiatory offerings were made, both in the time of peace and war. It was believed, likewise, that some act of disobedience, committed in the presence of Hinenuitepo, i.e., the Great Lady of Night, brought death into our world, but that, man, having two natures, one only died,—the body, and that the "manawa ora," i.e., the "living principle," mounted to Heaven, or descended to Hades, or took possession of some bird, reptile, or fish, in which form the departed spirit visited the friends still dwelling on the earth; manifesting sometimes extreme friendliness of manner towards the living, and, at other times, scaring them on account of some transgression of known and sacred law.
* See note at end.
* "Every biographer of this family," says Dr. Smith, in his History of Wesley an Methodism, "has mentioned the strange noises heard in the parsonage house at Epworth."
The Maoris, it may be observed, are still firm believers in what we call spiritism, and in the presence of te Turehu, i.e., Fairies, in certain localities. In corroboration of this statement as regards the last named class of imaginary beings, I would remark that a Native Chief at the Thames, in securing the services of a gentleman to survey a block of land at Cape Colville, said to him through myself:—"Let me warn you of a danger that may come to you while engaged on the survey. The mountain abounds with fairies, their habitations are on the summit, their pas are interlaced with supple-jack. Their plantations are there also. They grow very large gourds, but if any attempt is made by men to procure one of them for seed, when the human hand touches it, the gourd is immediately turned into a stone and becomes so weighty that it cannot be lifted by men's hands. They play on musical instruments, and the soft airs are wafted down the sides of the ranges till they reach the ears of mortals. When you get within a certain distance of the hill cones, cease cutting lines, and use your instruments only. Now take heed to these my page 18injunctions lest evil overtake you, and I be blamed for sending you thither to face certain death."
In 1814, when the first New Zealand Mission was established near Rangihoua, Bay of Islands, under the auspices of that indefatigable ambassador of the Cross, the Rev. Samuel Marsden, otherwise known as the father of the New Zealand missions, Patuone and his brother Nene took a lively interest in the good work; and in 1827 when the Wesleyan Missionaries, Messrs. N. Turner, J. Hobbs, and J. Stack were plundered at Whangaroa and driven from their homes by the savage tribes of that locality, Patuone, Waka Nene, and their brother-in-law Te Wharerahi, raised a force to rescue them, and they with their families were placed in safety by the Chiefs at Mangungu, on the Hokianga, where the triumphs of the gospel among the Maori tribes of that beautiful river were palpably manifested to all who had eyes to see and ears to hear.
On the subject of our departed friend's goodwill to the Missionaries, the Rev. John Hobbs—a man distinguished for his disinterestedness and heroic spirit, often called into exercise during the early barbaric times, when the pioneer Missionaries raised the standard of the Cross—says:— page 19"The Mission party have always considered themselves indebted to Patuone, Waka Nene, and Te Wharerahi of the Bay of Islands for protecting them from imminent danger from an armed party of two or three hundred men, among whom the question was discussed whether we should be killed or not." The account of the meeting of the two belligerent tribes on the occasion of the rescue of Mr. Hobbs and companions, is strikingly affecting, and shows how loyal were the hearts of those noble Chiefs to the excellent Missionaries. On the near approach of the hostile army, with their guns, tomahawks, and spears, Patuone and his people requested the European families to kneel on the ground, a command which was immediately obeyed. Patuone and a band of his noble-hearted warriors, in the mean time, surrounded the Missioraries, stretching forth their arms over the heads of the messengers of peace to guard them from danger, on the discovery of which touching act, the enemy moved on, allowing them and their protectors to proceed on their journey unmolested.
In later years we find Patuone and Nene his brother at Kororareka with 800 followers, in consequence of a sanguinary battle between page 20the local tribes in which. 100 were slain. As usual, Patuone was busy in the good work of peace-making. His exertions in this respect, together with those of his famous brother-in-law, Te Wharerahi, were crowned with success. In the same year, Patuone was accompanied by his brother, Waka Nene, and other Ngapuhi celebrities, to Matamata in conjunction with the Thames tribes, who were at this time at war with the famous William Thompson's father, Te Waharoa, whose country they scoured and whose pa they invested. Te Waharoa and his tribes, feeling indisposed to risk an engagement in the open, the formidable Thames tribes, together with their allies the Ngapuhis, retired after consuming all available crops. Patuone, on his return to the Thames, settled for a time among the Ngatipaoa, and took to wife a Chieftainess of that people, named Riria Takarangi.
Some time after this, Patuone undertook a voyage to Australia, transacting business with Gordon Brown and other Sydney merchants, and returning to New Zealand in the Brig "Tranmere." Then we find him on the East Coast again associated with the powerful Chief, Titore, carrying on a brisk trade in flax and spars, page 21at Mahurangi and other places. Titore's letter to King William of England is so graphic and honourable to the writer, that I am tempted to insert it here, hoping it will prove interesting to the reader. It should be remarked, that the naval authorities in England, being desirous to obtain a cargo of New Zealand spars, a man-of-war named the "Buffalo,"—afterwards wrecked at Mercury Bay,—was despatched to the shores of New Zealand, and the Commander having put himself in communication with the Chief Titore, the latter undertook to supply the required cargo of spars. The following is the novel letter referred to:—
"To the King of England, King William.—
Here am I, the friend of Captain Saddler. The ship is full and now about to sail. I have heard that you aforetime were the Captain of a ship. Do you, therefore, examine the spars, whether they are good, or whether they are bad. Should you and the French quarrel, here are some trees for your battle ships. I have put on board the 'Buffalo' a green-stone battle axe, and two garments. These are all the things which the New Zealanders possess. If I had any thing better, I would give it to Captain Saddler for you. This page 22is all mine to you. Mine.
As-early as 1795, the Maoris were in the habit of visiting Australia. On this subject, Collins, in his History of New South Wales, says of a Maori Chief:—"He delineated his sketch of New Zealand, with chalk, on the floor of a room set apart for that purpose." "Among the different New Zealanders brought to Port Jackson, was a remarkable Chief named Te Pahi, who came to the Colony during the time of Governor King, from the Bay of Islands. Both the Governor and the gentlemen of the Colony were particularly attentive to him, nor were they a little surprised to find in a man totally unacquainted with any one rule of civilised comportment, an acute shrewdness of remark, and nicety of discrimination, which they had never before thought compatible with a state of rude barbarism. The Colonists still hold in remembrance many of his remarks which equally shew the solidity of his understanding and the justness of his conceptions."
At Otuihu, Bay of Islands, when the Waima Chiefs Pi, Te Nana, Te Koukou, and others fell, it is recorded, that Patuone found his way into the company of the belligerents, for the purpose of restoring peaceful relations between the page 23contending parties, the leaders being Pomare and Kawiti. "On an eminence near the pa," Timoti, a relative of our deceased friend, says, "Patuone stood and cried with a loud voice, while the parties were fiercely firing at each other,—' O Kawiti desist from further blood-shedding.' "The well-known voice, was at once recognised, and the people commanded by Kawiti were at once withdrawn by their leader from the assault of the pa. This intervention and prudent course of action on the part of Patuone, brought about the cessation of hostilities, and the full establishment of peace.
Towards the merchants of Sydney, and towards the commanders of all vessels trading to Hokianga, Patuone conducted himself with that true honesty of purpose and urbanity of manner, that invariably insured respect. On this point, the Rev. John Hobbs says:—"Captain Delaite and, afterwards, Raine and Ramsay, and Gordon Brown kept up a trading establishment at Te Horeke under the protection of Patuone, Tamati Waka Nene, Muriwai, and other friendly natives, which establishment was never seriously injured, and remains to this day." Nor was Patuone backward in using his large influence for the page 24protection, at all times, of the European settlers. Mr. Hobbs informs us that, of the company organized by Captain Hurd to occupy Hokianga, four persons, "McLain, Nimmo, Nesbet and Grillis ventured to remain and went up the river to Patuone's place, where they resided for nine years." Speaking of these early times, Mr. Nicholas, the historian, says of the Maoris, "Wherever I mixed among them, I always found the strongest proofs of their friendliness and hospitality; they always presented me with something to eat, and nowhere did I meet with any thing like selfishness, in this respect." The same spirit of friendship was manifested by Patuone towards the late Baron de Thierry, when that gentleman found to his dismay, that the land he claimed by virtue of a deed signed by certain Chiefs, had not been purchased, but that the axes given were merely a deposit;" To meet this disappointment, Patuone and Nene placed the Baron and his family on lands named Tarawana, at the head of the river Hokianga, free of all charge, of which lands the de Thierrys remained in peaceful possession, for many years.
Patuone, I may here state, had four wives. By Te Wheke, his first wife, he had four sons and page 25two daughters; by Te Hoia, three sons and one daughter; by Riria Takarangi of Ngatipaoa, Thames, previously mentioned, one son; and by Rutu, one son. The sole survivor of these twelve is a son named Hohaia. There is no living representative of Tamati Waka Nene's family, nor of their youngest brother, Wi Waka Turau, who lived and died at the old tribal settlement, Hokianga. The children of Patuone's sister, Tari, whose husband was the chief Te Wharerahi, mentioned frequently in preceding pages, were Tupanapana, Tarapata, and Te Tane. Two of Tarapata's children, namely Wi Pani, and Harata, wife of the notable chief Paora Tuhaere of Orakei, late member of the Provincial executive, attended their grandfather, Patuone, during his last illness, administering to his wants, together with another member of his household named Timoti, and were present on the occasion of his decease. Patuone's firstborn, Toa, when quite a young man, sickened and died. The Rev. John Hobbs visited the bereaved parents, on which occasion he saw the deceased in a sitting posture, decorated with feathers and other Maori ornaments, and his two wives in a like posture by his side, they having strangled themselves, in accordance with the Maori page 26usages of those days, to accompany their husband in order to prepare the food supposed to be necessary to sustain him. on his journey to Te Reinga, i.e., Hades. In 1828, Te Wheke, Patuone's first wife, was taken ill. At this juncture, the tribal priest was solicited to use his prayers and spells, to avert, if possible, the fatal consequences that were apprehended by Patuone and his household. The priest entered upon his mission with unwonted vigour, claiming for himself marvelous influence with the gods and goddesses said to be ruling the destinies of men, some of whom, it was averred by him, had stricken Te Wheke with a fatal malady. After sundry gesticulations, and rapid chanting of many Maori prayers, the soothsayer exhibited a large stone, a tin pot, a paper of fish hooks and a piece of a red shirt, which he assured the tribe, with great pertinacity, he had succeeded, by his charms, in removing from her body, adding that, in consequence of his having appeased certain wrathful deities, the invalid would immediately recover. Patuone and others gave full credence to the asseverations of the pretender, and, doubtless, liberally rewarded him for his services, but Te Wheke shortly afterwards, breathed her last.page 27
Soon after the establishment of the Christian Mission at Hokianga, the work extended to Waihou, Mangamuka, Waipa, and other places of the Hokianga. Native itinerant teachers carried the word of peace to Taranaki, and its neighbourhood, while others laboured in the more immediate localities of the Mangungu mission station. Among these were, Wiremu Patene, Rihimona, and Matiu, who, on the occasion of their holding a religious meeting at Mangamuka, were fired upon by the Chief Kaitoke and his adherents, who were under the influence of a noted Maori ventriloquist named Papahurihia, who held nightly meetings, at which a large concourse of Maoris attended for the purpose, it was alleged, of holding intercourse with their departed friends, the ventriloquist being the medium of communication. This Maori necromancer had sent to his Mangamuka disciples a gun with certain hieroglyphics marked on it, the sanguinary meaning of which, if not fully understood by Kaitoke, was to be explained by the bearer of the weapon. While divine service was being proceeded with, the three bullets intended for Wi Patene, passed through his garments, Rihimona was mortally wounded, and Matiu killed, while holding the page 28word of life in his hands. The unprovoked attack upon these excellent teachers created intense sensation amongst the Christianised portion of the community, many of whom were bound on blood revenge. An army immediately proceeded to Mangamuka, under the leadership of Patuone, Waka Nene, and other distinguished Chiefs. On the arrival of the Christians in sight of the Pa, "they received," says Mr. Turner, "a succession of "musket balls, one Chief fell dead, and another seriously wounded; after the third shot the Christian natives fired, then the balls flew thick, some whizzing close by the Missionaries, who had followed to restrain them, if possible, from violence." The Christian party stormed the Pa, and put to death twelve of the inmates, taking the remainder prisoners, including the leader, Kaitoke, who was wounded in the fight. The victorious chiefs held a council, and some of them loudly advocated the killing of Kaitoke, but Patuone's customary course for mercy prevailed. The heathen party were accordingly liberated with the understanding that they should abandon their settlement at Mangamuka, and seek a new home.
Another heathen posse of the Ihutai tribe, page 29under the leadership of Tohukakahi, had provoked the ire of certain European settlers, some of their number having been illtreated by the above Chief. The settlers, numbering upwards of forty, determined to visit the offenders with summary chastisement. An expedition, fully armed, repaired to Mangamuka by boat, but, prior to its arrival at the native Pa, one of the Missionaries, the Rev. W. White, preceded the armed settlers, and prevailed upon Tohukakahi and his tribe, to vacate their Pa, and to seek refuge in the woods, in the hope of evading the expected attack. The settlers, leaving their boats near the bank of the river, marched in martial order, with tomahawk, sword, and gun in hand, and made a furious assault upon the Pa; but finding it deserted, the army contented itself by seizing Maori goods within the fortress, and slaughtering a large number of pigs, carrying away in triumph the carcasses to their flotilla, an achievement which secured for this singular adventure the appellation of the "Battle of Pork." It is stated, that Patuone accompanied the settlers, he being the recognised friend of the pakeha, and known by his own countrymen to be a man of peace. As no human blood was page 30shed by the settlers, Patuone would be likely to approve of the appropriation of Maori goods, and the heroic onslaught on the herd of swine.
The next occurrence that brought Patuone, Waka Nene, and other prominent Chiefs into special notice, was the alleged murder, by drowning, of a European settler named Henry Biddell, who had taken a passage on board a Maori canoe, manned by two natives, the destination of which was Whirinaki, a branch of the Hokianga river. The unfortunate man embarked, it is stated, at the Whaiti, near Hurd's point; his body was found on the Kakaho beach, about twenty miles distant from the point of starting. The corpse was conveyed to Mangungu, where a meeting was convened, and a jury, composed of settlers and Chiefs, formed to deliberate upon the guilt or innocence of the accused natives; the late James Busby then British Consul, being president. The two Maoris who had paddled the canoe were arraigned before the tribunal, a decision was arrived at, althongh the evidence was conflicting, that the European had met his death owing to certain violent acts perpetrated by the two Maoris; one of them being a mere stripling. It was subsequently determined, that the Maori boy should be page 31spared, and that the man should suffer the extreme penalty of human law. Accordingly, certain persons were instructed to prepare a place of interment, on a small island called Ruapapaka, near the estate of the late Captain McDonnell, R.N. A considerable number of settlers and native Chiefs repaired to the island, the condemned was placed on the margin of the newly dug grave, and was speedily despatched by Pangari, a relative of Patuone. The body being deposited in its resting place, the proceedings terminated; and the various parties who had interested themselves in this sad scene returned to their respective homes.
From the establishment of the New Zealand Missions up to the year 1840, there was a general disinclination on the part of the Maori tribes, to indulge in the use of intoxicating drinks; but the early Hokianga settlers had, from the first, accustomed themselves to the drinking usages of the day. As some few of the Maori Chiefs had been led by their example to imbibe occasionally, and thereby relinquish their self-respect, and as drunkenness increased among the settlers, it was deemed advisable by the Missionaries to elicit a discussion on the subject of Temperance. A page 32meeting was held at the Mangungu Wesleyan chapel, about five hundred Maoris being present, and a few of the colonists. The nature of the proposed business haying been explained by the Missionaries, the moot points were answered by Patuone, Waka Nene, Mohi Tawhai, Taonui, and other notable Chieftains. A resolution was passed unanimously, to the effect, that no more spirituous liquors should be landed at Hokianga, and that all spirits found on board vessels entering the port, were to be poured into the sea. This resolution highly offended numbers of the settlers resident in various localities, and they determined to resist it, if possible, but Patuone, Waka Nene, and their noble coadjutors, were intent upon carrying into practice, the scheme proposed. A deputation was at once formed, consisting of Maori Chiefs and two European gentlemen, namely, Captain Clendon, and Mr. George Stevenson, The deputation then proceeded to a vessel shipping timber for Australia, and, making known the decision of the recent temperance meeting, the delivery of the grog on board was demanded by the Chiefs. The master, finding there was no alternative, reluctantly complied, making this observation: "Matters have come to a pretty pass page 33now, that we are compelled to go on our voyage without our supply of grog." The captain ordered the puncheon of rum to be hoisted on deck, it was taken by the natives to the gangway, the bung drawn, the sailors' coveted treasure emptied into the sea, and the cask politely handed back to the captain, who remarked: "I have no more spirits on board." The other vessels in harbour were visited, and information sent to them of the temperance law of the confederate Chiefs. It was unnecessary to board the brig Draco, loading with timber at the time, as she sailed under total abstinence principles. Some of the settlers, in defiance of the wishes of both Missionaries and Maori Chiefs, renewed their excesses, and some few went so far as to visit the Mission Chapel at Mangungu, dancing round it with cheers, holding bottles of rum in their hands. In a drunken brawl, one of them named Thomas Styles, received a blow, which, together with the poisonous effect of his excesses, brought him to the margin of that great precipice that divides time from eternity. When in 'this mournful condition, he sent for the Missionaries, expressed his sorrow on account of his determined opposition to them, and to the confederate page 34Chiefs, on the subject of temperance; and, as a proof of his compunction, he ordered all his rum puncheons to be taken from his store, and their contents to be poured on the ground, in the presence of his assembled associates. The poor fellow bade farewell to earthly scenes, twenty-four hours after he received the fatal blow, in the drunken bout, which sent him to a premature grave.
Long before the colonization of New Zealand by the British crown, there was a brisk trade between Australia and Hokianga, it being celebrated for its magnificent Kauri spars. As a general rule, the Maori population evinced the greatest friendship towards the captains and crews of the vessels, entering the port, and rendered valuable assistance in the preparation of the cargoes required. A schooner named the Fortitude, when about to sail for Sydney laden with sawn timber, stranded at Motukauri, near the Whirinaki river; some of the natives, Whirinaki and Rarawa, in accordance, perhaps, with their ancient law, that all vessels, fish, birds, &c. cast on shore, within their tribal territory, should become the property of their tribe, boarded the Fortitude, and appropriated to themselves sundry articles page 35found on board, including the ship's papers. I have no hesitancy in saying, that, if prudent steps had been taken, the purloined articles would have been restored to the owners, and the difficulty amicably settled. Moral suasion, however, was not the mode often resorted to in those days, but the spirit of retaliation was preferred, by both settlers and Maoris. Quickly, therefore, after the Fortitude's capture, an army was raised by the Chiefs Moetara, Rangatira, Te Kakahi, and others, whose country extended from Maunganui on the coast, to One Tree Point, seven miles from the Hokianga Heads. The armed tribes, in a fleet of canoes, paddled on to Motukauri, where they landed in battle array, a circumstance, it would appear, that greatly exasperated the Whirinakis and Rarawas, as they fired into Moetara's army, immediately upon its landing, killing one man, which was the signal for attack, a general fight, therefore, ensued. On Moetara's side, some distinguished chiefs were killed: Te Kakahi, Pahau, Paura, Taungahnru, and others. On the side of the aggressors, two great Chiefs, Mariao, and Taku were killed. It is estimated that the killed and wounded numbered twenty-two.page 36
Fearing a general war amongst the Hokianga tribes, and as each settler was under the special protection of a Chief, Moetara, on his return from Motukauri with his dead and wounded, landed at the late Captain Young's station, One Tree Point, and built there a large Pa, enclosing the houses, and formed an encampment as a precautionary measure, fearing that the exasperated tribes would make a descent upon the station, rob the stores, and ill use the family. Munitions of war were poured in from various localities, and, while warlike preparations were being proceeded with under the supervision of a warrior Chieftain named Te Waenga, by an act of carelessness a barrel of gunpowder ignited, scorching him severely, from the effects of which he soon expired. Patuone and his brother Waka Nene joined Moetara at One Tree Point, with three hundred followers, including a European named John Marmon, who had been in the habit of shouldering his musket, and fighting side by side with Patuone's people against the foes of the tribe, whether at Hokianga, Taranaki, or elsewhere. Marmon and about thirty of Waka Nene's army crossed the river from One Tree Point, and fired into the Orongotea Pa, occupied page 37by a section of the Rarawa; a series of skirmishes ensued, with little harm to either party.
The allies at One Tree Point demanded the delivery of the Fortitude's papers, which happily was acceded to, a circumstance that brought about the establishment of peace between the belligerents. All matters being satisfactorily settled, Moetara and Rangatira returned to their settlements, and the allies, with their spirited and noble minded leaders, went to their homes about thirty miles from One Tree Point. Thus, by the friendly intervention of the two celebrated bro thers, Patuone and Nene, was further blood shedding prevented, and cordial relations established between the exasperated settlers and hostile Maori tribes.
Now come sundry remarkable events, recorded in the annals of Hokianga, which threatened to bring about a settlers' war, with Maori allies assisting both on the part of the aggressors and defenders. The quarrel originated with certain sawyers, who had been employed by a Mr. Crowe, who was both captain and owner of the brig Brazil Packet. The Kauri forest in which the sawyers had been placed, was the property of Captain Crowe; a large quantity of timber had page 38been prepared for shipment, when some misunderstanding arose as to the agreement previously entered into by the men and their employer; the former prohibiting the rafting of the timber till a full understanding was arrived at in relation to payment. Captain Crowe, on the other hand, avowed his intention of removing the timber, irrespective of the working men's protests. The sawyers thereupon made known their grievance to the settlers residing along the banks of the Hokianga river, who at once responded to their call for aid. About one hundred settlers, armed with guns, swords, and other deadly weapons, came in their boats to One Tree Point. After landing, they drew up in military order, the officers having distinguished themselves by wearing scarlet scarfs and other martial habiliments. The army marched in rank and file to Crowe's sawing station, and halted near the stacks of timber, where a serious altercation took place; and, more than once, the life of the captain was in imminent peril. Crowe's Maori allies lingered with their arms in the immediate neighbourhood, refusing to interfere, unless Crowe or some of his party were fired upon. Having minutely observed the various phases of the hostile movement, page 39I was led to believe, that the armed settlers were overawed by the presence of Crowe's Maori allies. After the destruction of the sawn timber by fire, the European braves returned from this singular affray in their fleet of boats to their distant homes. Be it remembered, that these unique soldiers, made conspicuous by the formidable array of their rusty flint muskets, were under the guardianship of the two distinguished brothers, Patuone, and Waka Nene; and Captain Crowe under the protection of the two Chieftain brothers, Moetara, and Rangatira, men of singular distinction. Thus it will be observed, that should any of the aggressors, or defenders, in the conflict described as "The battle of plank," have been killed, internecine war would in all probability have resulted therefrom, affecting alike both Europeans and Maoris. It is a matter for congratulation that the lives were saved, and the timber only lost.
Patuone's decision of character, when in the prime of life, and his large influence with his people were well known. On this subject, an eyewitness observes, "Turning the bend of the river, we suddenly met a war party. They were all armed, and presented a most formidable appear-page 40ance as they marched in a compact body, ready for action. They were headed by several chiefs, the principal of whom was Patuone of Hokianga, a friend to Europeans. On seeing us, [i.e. a party of Missionaries in the bend of the river,] he instantly turned round upon his army, and commanded them to halt. Never before had I seen in New Zealand such an exhibition of authority and obedience. Having secured a halt, Patuone and other Chiefs came and rubbed noses with us in token of sympathy."
* Taiaha.—A weapon of wood, five or six feet in length, one end tongue shaped and carved, sometimes ornamented with red feathers and tufts of dogs' hair.
Tewhateawha.—A wooden weapon about four feet in length, spearlike at one end and axe-shaped at the other, ornamented with a tuft of feathers taken from the hawk.
Merepounamu.—A weapon made of greenstone, eighteen inches in length; oval shaped, narrow towards the handle, through which a strong cord is passed to ensure a firm grasp.
† Head Dress.—In former times a Maori Chief was distinguished by the costly mats he wore, and by the decoration of his hair consisting of plumes of feathers, a fillet made from the paper mulberry, and a comb, neatly carved, of either wood or whale bone, worn in a topknot just above the brow. Sometimes the topknot was worn at the crown of the head, variously ornamented.
* The Whangaroa Chief George who instigated the Massacre here related, was severely flogged on board the Boyd during the voyage from Sydney to New Zealand.
Patuone, we are told, requested the Missionaries, Messrs. Turner and Hobbs, to return to their Whangaroa station under his protection, but they declined making Whangaroa their home a second time, having escaped the recent fury of the savages, and previous personal dangers. The Hokianga army, which visited Whangaroa at that time, secured some of the spoils taken from the Mission premises, having driven away the first plunderers who belonged to Hongi's tribe. The dwelling houses and stores were burnt to ashes, and as is usual with Maoris bent on rapine and slaughter, the heads of goats and other domestic animals found on the Mission Station, were displayed on poles as trophies of the victorious crusade made against the ambassadors of the cross. "Not content with what they had found above ground, the ruthless barbarians had dug up the coffin of a dear child, merely for the sake of the blanket in which they supposed it had been wrapped, and had left the remains to moulder on the surface of the earth."
There is no reliable evidence to convince us that the renowned warrior Chieftain, Hongi, whose reckless deeds of blood practised upon his own country men made him the terror page 47of all, encouraged, or even countenanced the furious onslaught upon the Whangaroa Missionaries by his tribe; he was friendly towards all classes of Europeans, including the Missionaries, who paved the way for the colonisation of New Zealand by the British Crown. Certainly Hongi had no complaints to make against our race; he was treated with great consideration in England, by King George the Fourth, by the estimable Samuel Marsden in New South Wales, and by Governor Macquarie, and the gentry of Sydney.
Mr. Marsden informs us how he passed the first night with Hongi and his followers at Whangaroa. "Mr. Nicholas and I wrapped ourselves in our great coats and prepared for rest. The night was clear, the stars shone bright, and the sea on our front was smooth. Around us were innumerable spears stuck upright in the ground, and groups of natives lying in all directions, like a flock of sheep upon the grass, as there were neither tents nor huts to cover them. I reviewed our present situation with sensation and feelings that I cannot express, surrounded by cannibals who had massacred and devoured our countrymen. About three in the morning, I rose and walked page 48about the camp, surveying the different groups of natives. When the morning light came we beheld men, women, and children asleep in all directions, like the beasts of the field." Hongi and other Whangaroa Chiefs, were invited to breakfast, on board the brig "Active"; at the conclusion of the meal they were presented with prints, axes, bill hooks, and other articles. The Chiefs having seated themselves in the cabin in great form, to receive the presents, Messrs Kendall, Hall, and King were introduced to them by Mr. Marsden, after which ceremony, he expressed a hope that there would be a cessation in New Zealand to all war. Under date December 25, 1815, in reference to his reception as a preacher of righteousness by the famous Hongi, Tuatara, and many others of the Maori race, Mr. Marsden pathetically remarks:—"Tuatara passed the remaining part of the previous day in preparing for the sabbath. He enclosed about half an acre of land with a fence, erected a pulpit and reading desk in the centre, and covered the whole either with black native cloth, or some duck which he had brought with him from Port Jackson. He also procured some bottoms of old canoes, and fixed them up as seats on each side of page 49the pulpit, for the Europeans so sit upon; intending to have divine service performed there the next day. These preparations he made of his own accord. I was much pleased with this singular mark of his attention. The reading desk was about three feet from the ground, and the pulpit about six feet. The black cloth covered the top of the pulpit, and hung over the sides. The bottom of the pulpit as well as the reading desk was part of a canoe. The whole was becoming, and had a solemn appearance. About ten o'clock, we prepared to go on shore, to publish for the first time the glad tidings of the gospel. I ordered all on board to go on shore, except the mate and one man. When we landed we found Korokoro, Tuatara, and Hongi dressed in regimentals, which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up, ready to be marched into the enclosure to attend divine service. They had their swords by their side and switches in their hands. We entered the enclosure and were placed on the seats on each side of the pulpit. Korokoro marched his men and placed them on my right hand in the rear of the Europeans. Tuatara placed his men on the left. The inhabitants of the town with wo-page 50men and children, and a number of other Chiefs formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed. The sight was truly impressive. After reading the service, during which the natives stood up and sat down at the signals given by Korokoro's switch which was regulated by the movements of the Europeans, I preached from second chapter of Luke and tenth verse:—'Behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy' In this manner the gospel has been introduced into New Zealand, and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants."*
Although the subject of the present memoir is not named in the above extracts, the prominent Maori actors chronicled in the memorials of the excellent Marsden and others, were Patuone's particular associates; I assume, therefore, that my readers will pardon the seeming digression.
* Life of Reverend Samuel Marsden by Rev. C. B, Marsden M.A.
"Know all men to whom these presents shall come, that I, Anodee O Gunna, King of Rangiheehoo in the island of New Zealand, have, in consideration of twelve axes to me in hand now paid and delivered by the Reverend Samuel Marsden, of Paramatta, in the territory New South Wales, given, granted, bargained and sold; and by this present instrument do give, grant, bargain and sell unto the Committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East, instituted in London, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, and to their heirs and successors, all that piece and parcel of land situate in the district of Hoshee, in the island of New Zealand, bounded on the south side by the bay of Lippouna and the town of Rangiheehoo, on the north side by a creek of fresh water, and on the west by a public road into the interior, together with all the rights, members, privileges, and appurtenances thereto belonging; to have and to hold to the aforesaid Committee of the Church Missionary Society for Africa aud the East, instituted in London, in the Kingdom of Great page 52Britain, their heirs, successors and assigns for ever, clear and freed from all taxes, charges, impositions, and contributions whatsoever, as and for their own absolute and proper estate for ever. In testimony whereof I have to these presents, thus done and given, set my hand, at Hoshee, in the island of New Zealand, this twenty fourth day of February, in the year of Christ one thousand eight hundred and fifteen.
To the above document, representing the first land bought in New Zealand, was affixed a complete drawing of the tatooing of "Gunna's" face, executed by Hongi. We must not criticise the orthography of the Maori names which occur in the deed, as the Missionaries at that time, were but imperfectly acquainted with the Maori language; but it will be admitted that the land transaction of the Paramatta chaplain was not unlike the famous contract between the memorable William Penn and the American Indians, by which he secured his Pennsylvania possessions. Mr. Marsden, intent upon the advancement of the Maoris, sent to be educated in England two native youths, who were page 53placed under the care of his friends in London. Of them he says:—"They are fine young men, and, in temper and natural parts, very like their countrymen in general. They are both Chieftains, and prepared to receive any instruction that we can give them." They appear to have benefited greatly from their visit to England, if we may infer from their correspondence to their patrons, Messrs. Marsden and Pratt. The letters are so novel and interesting, that no apology is needed for their insertion here. To Mr. Pratt, Thomas Tui writes:—
"Madeley, Sept. 17th, 1818.
"Dear Sir,—I am much obliged and thank you, Mr. Pratt for the letter you sent me. I so pleased when Mr. Pratt finds a ship. I want a ship to go home. I have been to Coal-port. I made four cups. Mr. Rose tell me, 'you soon learn,' 'yes' I say, very soon learn with fingers but book very hard.
(Signed) Thomas Tui.To Mr. Pratt.
Te Tere writes as follows to Mr. Marsden:—
"Church Missionary House,
October 12th, 1818.
"My dear Friend,—I like English man much; page 54he love New Zealand man. I very sick in Missionary house, and very near die; nothing but bone. Kind friend Missionary pray for me every night. I kneel down in my bed room every night, and pray to Jesus Christ our Saviour to learn me to read the book. Very nice people England. I never see the King of England, he very poorly and Queen Charlotte very poorly too. I see the iron make, and bottles blow; Tui blow a bottle and I blow a bottle. I make four cups at China work.
Farewell good friend.
(Signed) Te Tere.Mr. Marsden.
In 1820 Patuone's firm friend Hongi visited England; he was invited by George the Fourth to Carlton Palace and presented with costly firearms, a sword, and other military accoutrements. His person was majestic, his manner graceful, and, being one of nature's nobles, he was particularly admired by the English; yet, under this polished exterior, he had the heart of a cruel savage, and, when bidding adieu to the shores of Britain, he exclaimed in the loftiness of his ambition,—" There is but one king in England, there shall be but one in New Zealand." page 55Having visited Sydney on his voyage homeward, he met a notable Chief named Te Hinaki, between whom and himself there had been an old feud, The Chief was informed that his territory would be invaded by Hongi, on his return to New Zealand. Te Hinaki accepted the challenge. On Hongi's arrival home, he levied an army of no fewer than two thousand warriors who encountered Te Hinaki and his army at the Thames. For some time victory seemed to favor, alternately, each army, "At length, Hongi, who had the greatest number of muskets, and who had arranged his men in the form called in Roman tactics, the cuneus or wedge, placing himself at the apex, and directing those behind him to wheel round the enemy from right and left, or to fall back into their original position as opportunity offered, shot Te Hinaki, and defeated his army with great slaughter." A traveller who visited the spot in 1844, says:—" The bones of two thousand men still lie whitening on the plain, and the ovens remain in which the flesh of the slaughtered was cooked for the horrible repasts of the victorious party." Hongi's cruelties, it will be seen, were concentrated upon his own countrymen, some of whom, in a spirit of page 56retaliation, inflicted on him a gun wound, which, soon afterwards brought to a conclusion his fearful career of blood. Patuone, we are informed by Mr. Stack, witnessed the last affecting scene of Hongi's dissolution. "Perceiving by his inward sinking that he was going, he said to his friends:—'I shall die now shortly; his meres or battle axes, muskets, and coat of mail, which he received from King George the Fourth, he bequeathed on that day, to his sons. His dying lips were employed in uttering 'kia toa, kia toa,' i.e., be valiant, be valiant." It was imagined that, in accordance with ancient Maori customs, the practice of human sacrifice, in honor of the dead, would be resorted to on the occasion. Patuone, however, discountenanced this heathen rite, quieting the fears of Hongi's people, whom he found congregated in the Pa "trembling like leaves in the wind" and reproving Hongi's sons, who, actuated by fear, proposed to inter the remains of their father privately. He directed that the obsequies should be public, and that the customary honours, weeping, speechifying, &c. be paid to his late friend, the most remarkable Chief, perhaps, of the age.
It may not be out of place to remark here, that page 57we have no means of ascertaining the views held by the old Maori priests, when directing the thoughts of the dying to Te Kangi, i.e., heaven, or to Te Reinga, i.e., hades; but this we know, that certain tribes claim for themselves the appellation of Hekehekenga-a-rangi, i.e. descendants from heaven, in contradistinction to other tribes designated Te Hapu Oneone, i.e., the tribe of earth; each, however, professes to trace its descent from ancestors who flourished many hundred years ago. The motives which actuated the priest to impart instruction to the dying, and specialty press upon the failing heart its glance to heaven, may have arisen from the supposed relationship to the heavenly ancestors, or, it may be, that some of the earlier generations were possessed of greater religious light in apprehending a home in heaven, the more fleshly surroundings being probably added in later times. Whatever may have been the ancient faith, whatever influence impelled the initiated to urge on the dying their upward look to The-Miracle-Working-God-Man-Tawhaki, who ascended to heaven, after his resurrection, on the thread of a spider's web; or to pray for a ready admittance into hades, by the gates at Muriwhenua, i.e., page 58land's end, one thing is certain, that all classes were agreed as to the union of souls in the unseen world, hence the oft repeated sentiments addressed to the dead, at the funeral obsequies:—"Haere e te hoa, ko to tatou kainga nui tena," i.e. "Go, O friend, for that is the great abode of us all."
Patuone, it is averred by his relatives, was present at the great Ikaranganui battle fought at Kaipara, between sundry Ngapuhi tribes and Ngatiwhatua; numbers of whom were slain by the victorious Ngapuhi, and the remnants, under the two great Ngatiwhatua Chiefs, Te Kawau and Te Tinana, fled to Waikato, where they were befriended for a time, but some deed of treachery on the part of other tribes residing there, induced their pretended friends to murder Te Tinana. This cowardly and unlooked for act moved the refugees under their remaining Chief, Te Kawau, to return to their settlements at Mangere, Onehunga, Orakei, and other places. The venerable Chief Apihai Te Kawau, who sold to Government the land upon which the city of Auckland is built, resided at Orakei for many years, winning for himself, by his affability and good heartedness, the kindliest feelings of the page 59Government, and of the Auckland Colonists; dying at an advanced age, among his friends, in the Kaipara district; and leaving by will his estates to his favorite nephew, Paora Tuhaere, a Chief of extreme intelligence, who holds a government appointment, and who is deservedly respected by the English, and by his own countrymen.
We are told that Patuone accompanied Hongi on his expedition against tho Ngatipaoa, in the Tamaki district, at which place, after considerable fighting, the enemy was routed by the Ngapuhi invaders, and a Chief named Kaitu, of the Patukirikiri tribe was taken captive by Patuone. Kaitu was subsequently liberated and became a prominent man in land transactions, from time to time, in the Coromandel peninsula. The notes given of the Tamaki campaign do not furnish us with details relative to the prognostics uttered by the oracle, the ablutions in the neighbouring streams under the direction of the priests, nor the usual fastings and prayers practised before the commencement of hostilities; but we are told that there was a desire on the part of Hongi to retire from the siege of the fortresses named respectively, Mokoia, and Mauinaina; a desire probably occasioned by the entanglement of page 60Hongi's foot in some vines, when one of the beseiged, with a bullet from his musket, knocked off the helmet worn invariably by the Ngapuhi leader during his military exploits, since his return from England. Patuone, however, advised a renewal of the seige on the following day, after, perhaps, an appeal to the oracles, and the performance of certain ceremonies at the Maori altar, imagined to counteract the ill omens seen by the army, namely, the accidental entwining of Hongi's foot, and the prostration of his sacred helmet in the dust; however this may be, the invaders invested the two Pas on the morrow, and took them by storm.
The following incidents will elucidate some phases of old Maori warfare, practised by Patuone's father. Tapua. It would appear that certain powerful tribes of the Ahuahu, named Ngatipou, gained their notoriety by acts of aggression on neighbouring villages, and generally they came off unscathed, being shielded by their power; but having cruelly killed a woman of the Uritaniwha tribe, her relatives became exasperated, and an appeal was made to Tapua, who raised an army of eight hundred men, and harangued his force to the following effect:—"Quietly seat yourselves, with weapons in hand, page 61remain at your posts till you see a cloud of dust near Ngatipou's Pa, then come to my help, and the enemy will be in our hands". Tapua then left with several companions, and, in reconnoitering the Pa, he discovered some children playing, one of whom he succeeded in bearing away; an event which aroused the inmates of the Pa, and out they poured in hot pursuit of the child smugglers. The tramp of many feet raised a cloud of dust. The signal being understood by Tapua's soldiers, they rose to their feet, and, with weapons in hand, rushed forward to oppose the Ngatipou, on the discovery of which circumstance Tapua turned upon the foe, and slew several of the foremost with his own hand, A general fight then ensued, the Ngatipou were defeated with great loss, and the remnants fled to Whangaroa, and to Waimamaku near the heads of Hokianga.
We would observe here that the unalterable attachment of the two brothers to the European race so often evidenced by their acts during their lengthened lives, was, it may be averred, based on the conviction that the English were right, and their own countrymen wrong. Waka Nene in particular did not wait to enquire minutely into the causes of disagreement between the races, but acted on the spur of the moment in defence of the Europeans, by which mode of procedure he sometimes inflicted great injustice upon his own people, as in the case of a near relative of his named Matetakahia, whom he deliberately slew at Ohuki, Tauranga, suspecting that his relative had been concerned in the murder of an English trader, called by the Maories, Whar-page 65angi. It was subsequently discovered that Wharangi had been killed at Whakatane, by a Chief named Te Ngarara; and the knowledge of this fact so exasperated some of Waka's relatives at the North, that they made their way to Whakatane in a coasting vessel, and having discovered their intended victim with some others who came along side in a canoe to barter, the northern Chieftain, Te Haua, shot Te Ngarara dead, to avenge the death of Matetakahia, who who had been killed by his relation, Waka Nene; the latter being unaware of Matetakahia's innocence till after the fatal occurrence.
Matetakahia's son, Timoti, is now residing on the late Patuone's estate, North Shore, having lived with both the brothers on the most affectionate terms notwithstanding the loss of his parent by the injudicious zeal of Waka Nene in the cause of English settlers, his loyalty to whom was never questioned by any of his own race.
The biographer of the late Archdeacon Henry Williams, of memorable worth, supplies us with the following interesting facts — Mr. Carleton writes:—"In February, 1840, Mr. Williams baptised his trusty friend and brother peacemaker, Patuone, eldest brother to Thomas Walker page 66Nene, whose name needs no further mention." The same writer chronicles in his excellent book a lofty Christian sentiment which every thoughtful mind cannot fail to appreciate in these times of sectarianism. He says:—"Eru Patuone was the principal agent in arranging the settlement of Mr. Hobbs, of the Wesleyan Society, at Hokianga in 1827. There was little distinction drawn at that time, between the two Missions, which worked very amicably, not together, but side by side."
As before intimated, the representative of the British Crown in New Zealand prior to the year 1840, was the late James Busby, during whose consulship several political events transpired among the Maoris which brought them more prominently before the British public; among others was an attempt on the part of the Ngapuhi Chiefs to form a federal or, perhaps, a monarchical system under the protection of the British crown. The project, it would seem, was approved of by the English Government; a number of flags having been forwarded to the Maori Confederation by that great power. On the arrival of the English Resident, a public meeting was convened at which the Chiefs were page 67asked to select the national flag of New Zealand. The Chief chosen by the unanimous voice of the native assembly, to select the Maori emblem, was Moetara, and here I would ask the indulgence of my readers for inserting in these pages, certain paragraphs bearing on the points mooted above, taken from a biographical sketch, published by myself, September, 1864. The following is the paper:—Moetara Motu Tongaporutu was the leading Chief of the Ngatikorokoro tribe, and resided at Pakanae, near the Heads of the Hokianga river, whose waters empty themselves into the sea, on the West coast of the Province of Auckland, about seventy miles to the North of the great Kaipara estuary.
During the last thirty-five years the European and Australian markets received large supplies of spars and sawn timber from Hokianga; Moetara, Patuone, Waka Nene, and other Chiefs having aided the enterprising Settlers in the preparation of the Kauri for shipment. Hokianga had other attractions—its romantic scenery, its lofty mountains, and fertile valleys abounding in corn, orchards, and vineyards, its celebrated missions and native schools. Hokianga is famous too, in the annals of New Zealand history, having page 68been discovered by the first great Maori navigator, Kupe, and named by him "Hokianga" or going back, in commemoration of his return voyage it is said to the fatherland of the Maoris —Hawaiki. The guardian attendants of the port, which is navigable for ships of 1000 tons burden for twenty miles, are a god and goddess respectively named Arai, Te Uru, and Niua, the latter taking up her residence on the North Head, and the former near the English flagstaff on the South Head. These localities are pronounced to be tapu or sacred, for trespassing on which, the daring intruders have been visited with signal vengeance, before the priests could present to the offended deities a propitiatory offering. So says the record.
Between the years 1820 and 1840, the English families residing in native districts were under the guardianship of Maori Chiefs, and any insult offered to a Settler, was resented by the presiding Chieftain, the offender seldom, if ever, escaping with impunity.
Moetara, who had a number of Settlers homes under his protection, discharged his duties with credit to himself and satisfaction to his English friends. His popularity with the English ex-page 69cited occasionally the jealousy of his brother Chiefs, and sometimes it manifested itself in deeds of violence and blood. But, true to his principles, Moetara did not shrink from duty, he even braved death in defence of the English and their rights. It is pleasing to add that the valuable services of Moetara were not forgotten by one of her Majesty's representatives in a neighbouring colony. The Governor of Tasmania addressed a note to Moetara congratulating him upon his conduct and heartily thanking him. The letter was accompanied by a richly ornamented sword, and military cloak, which together with his Excellency's communication were received by the late chief of the Ngatikorokoro, with that retiring dignity for which he was so eminently distinguished. It was not when Moetara was called upon to fight that he acted most in character; but when his good principles enlisted his sympathies in the cause of peace. Then his talents stood out in bold relief, and the savage tribes-who listened to his eloquent appeals to reason, were compelled to admit that moral suasion is a thousand fold more powerful and effective than mere brute force. The following is a specimen of his tact page 70and influence:—An old Colonist purchased an estate named Whanui, near the Heads of the Hokianga, and, as was usual in those days of primitive homeliness, the payment for land was made in blankets, iron pots, flints, tobacco pipes, and other merchandise. The boundaries of the land in question had been accurately defined, the price to be paid agreed upon between the parties, and the title deed had been duly signed, sealed, and witnessed. The goods had been conveyed to the court yard, and the members of the Settler's household, among whom were several ladies now residing in Auckland, stood by singularly interested in the novel scene which presented itself. At the conclusion of the speechifying, certain natives who were deputed divided the goods into about twelve lots, carefully apportioning to each lot an equal number of blankets and other articles. So far all went on apparently to the satisfaction of the parties concerned, the persons who were entrusted with the delicate task of dividing the goods into shares having performed their work with scrupulous exactness. There remained still a quantity of pipes to be apportioned before any article could be appropriated by the parties whom the twelve shares represented, page 71when suddenly a Chief of note named Te Pona, who had no claim to the land, seized a blanket. This was a signal for a general rush, and in an instant the whole multitude was in commotion, each person pressing on to smuggle away some articles, in doing which the huge trays of pipes were smashed into atoms, and the fragments scattered in all directions about the courtyard. Then came the war dance, the separation of the crowd into two divisions, the clash of arms, and the battle array, The ladies fled into the house trembling with affright; the Maori women and children were moved away, whilst we were in momentary apprehension of witnessing the horrors of a terrible tragedy exhibited before our own door. At this juncture, Moetara claimed to be heard. His persuasive words were listened to with profound attention, and presently the contracted muscles of each warrior's face began to relax. It then became evident to all that Moetara had succeeded in bringing the people to reflection, and soon the hostile tribes were re-united in the bonds of common brotherhood. The kind offices of Moetara and his authoritative intervention, were not always in requisition on behalf of his own countrymen; for the unwelcome task of page 72curbing the fiery spirit of hostility which the pakehas evinced towards one another, was sometimes laid on him. Our late Chieftain's exertions in this department were great, and frequently thankless to boot, it being indeed no easy matter to restrain the English settlers when they combined to carry out some desperate plan of punishment upon one of themselves, in other words, to enforce club law.
* Sir George Murray was late member for Perthshire for many years during the administration of the Tory Government.
† Are not these rites of the Maoris, corruptions of the most ancient forms of religious Belief given to mankind?
The time had now arrived for Moetara to cast aside heathenism, having become persuaded of its utter inability to meet the spiritual wants of his nature. We are not surprised therefore, when we take into consideration his depth of thought, and the accuracy of his reasoning powers, to find him acceding to the proposition of a venerable clergyman for the formation of a Mission station about two miles from Pakanae, our late friend's settlement; nor is it strange to learn that by the instrumentality of the Missionaries, he should be led to renounce the religion of his forefathers, and cordially embrace the religion of the Bible. He was baptised at the station he so cheerfully assisted to form, in the presence of a large concourse of his numerous Maori friends. Not long after this solemn dedication of himself to a higher power than that of Tu, or Uenuku—Maori Gods, he became extremely ill, and notwithstanding the unwavering attention of his friends, both Maori and pakeha, hie health rapidly page 78declined, and ere many months had passed away, the melancholy tidings were conveyed to our sorrowing household that Wiremu Moetara Kingi Motu Tongaporutu had expired in about the fortieth year of his age.
We now come to the signing of the treaty of Waitangi. Two great councils were held by Captain Hobson on the subject of ceding to the British crown the sovereignty of the New Zealand Isles.—One at Waitangi, on the estate of the late lamented James Busby, British Consul, and the other at Mangungu, the Wesleyan Mission Station Hokianga. I was present at the latter place, where some of the Chiefs argued strongly against the proposed cession, stating that it was a wily trap to obtain possession of the Maori lands, and to enslave the people. After a lengthened discussion, during which all the points mooted by the various speakers were explained satisfactorily by Captain Hobson, through his interpreters, the Missionaries, Patuone, and party with a hearty Maori cheer, declared for the Queen. The Treaty was immediately after duly signed by the assembled Chiefs, the sovereignty of the Queen proclaimed, and the British flag hoisted by Captain Hobson, R.N., who selected as the temporary page 79capital of New Zealand, a place in the Bay of Islands called by the Maoris Okiato, and by us Russell; but subsequently a more central position on the Waitemata was chosen, and up to the year 1865, Auckland was the metropolitan city of the Colony.
The early Governors being inundated with Maori questions from all parts of the Island relative to land affairs, disagreements with Settlers, and other matters affecting the peace of the country, deemed it advisable to establish a native office called the Protectorate, the head of which was the late memorable Mr. George Clarke, through whose valuable services many Maori agitations were quelled, and the feeling of confidence increased between the races. Several of his sons rendered valuable services to Government in the Native Department, and one of them, H. T. Clarke, Esquire, now Under Secretary for Maori Affairs, was severely wounded while discharging his official duties in the North. During Heke's war, the local newspapers were most violent against the policy of moral suasion recommended by Mr. Clarke, and adopted by the Governors in the early times. It is, however, now generally acknowledged that the popular voice and the page 80local press were wrong, and Mr. G. Clarke right.
Some spirits were hardly to be restrained from breaking forth, into acts of violence; among these was the famous Hone Heke, a distant relative of the renowned Hongi, who, it will be remembered in loftiness of heart, on his departure from Britain, said:—"There is but one King in England, there shall be but one in New Zealand." Heke who was known to be a man of indomitable courage, and of exalted ideas of his tribal greatness, made it his business to enquire into the political state of matters affecting the native people, under the Governorship of the late Admiral Fitzroy, who was looked upon by the Maoris generally as a kind and tender parent.
Hone Heke's search after information with respect to the relations between his countrymen and the Government, led him, it is stated, to adopt advice proffered to him by European Settlers, which resulted in what is called Heke's war. His mind being made up to adopt a certain plan, a plea was soon found for carrying into practice his cherished intentions. A Maori woman named Kotiro, who was living with a Bay of Islands Settler, cursed a Chieftainess named Te Uru. The curse gave umbrage to Heke, who went to page 81the settler's house, and forcibly took Kotiro to Tautoro, a Maori village. The native woman who had been captured by Heke, waited for an opportunity and made her escape to her reputed husband. Heke became exasperated, and proceeded to the settler's house a second time, forcibly removing therefrom Kotiro, who, as before said, had cursed Te Uru. She escaped, however, a second time from Heke, and to prevent another attempt at seizure, she was sent to her old Maori master named Whai. Heke's indignation was intensified in consequence of Kotiro eluding his grasp, and no longer nursing his wrath, he rushed off to Maiki, and twice cut down the flagstaff. On discovering that it had been re-erected in a block house guarded by soldiers, he cut it down a third time, killing some of the guard: while the main body under Kawiti and Puinuka, sacked the town of Kororareka. This brought to the rescue the naval force of her Majesty's ship "Hazard" then at anchor, whose gallant commander, Captain Robertson, though five times wounded in the fight, killed with his sword the leading Chief, Pumuka, creating thereby a panic in the enemy's ranks. It should be stated that prior to the commencement of hostilities a page 82conference was held by Government with Heke and his adherents, who pledged themselves to desist from all aggression, if the troops were withdrawn. The force having returned from the Bay of Islands, by order of the Governor, Hone Heke considered himself at liberty to attack Patuone and Waka Nene, at Okaihau and other places, on account of the friendliness evinced by them to the Government. On this subject, Hona Tara, one of Waka's men, says:—"We fought with Heke before the Hokianga tribes gathered to help us. We numbered one hundred, but Heke's forces were eight hundred. Heke sent a message to Kekeao saying, that he was concerned on our account because we were so few, and we should be overpowered by his numbers. Heke said to Te Kekeao, 'What is their force?' he replied, 'Their own tribe only, no allies.' Then said Heke to Kekeao, 'Go to these people, Patuone and Waka, and tell them to go back to their homes, as they are few and we are many.' Then Patuone stood up and uttered his saying; this is it:—'Ko te whaiti a Ripia,' meaning, in numbers Ripia's descendants were few but they were valiant in fight.
"A large pig was killed for our people so that page 83they might have a good meal before buckling on their cartridge boxes, and going forth to the fight, Patuone said, 'What a waste of pork! the people will not be strong to fight.' This was said to incite us to bravery. Heke's Pa was at Mawhe; he sent a message to say that if we persisted, he would chase us away. Heke's message was brought to us on the same day that we went forth, and marched near Heke and his people; but they did not fire on us, and when we thought of Patuone's words about the pig, we fired on them, killing one man. They carried off the corpse, and forthwith attacked us. We fought with Heke, and several were killed on our side, and some on his. We had ten skirmishes with Heke, at Okaihau. Patuone fought, because he had often raised forces to defend the Europeans. After this some of the tribes joined us. Taonui of the Popoto tribe, with sixty men; Taonui's brother was killed in another fight, and his own son, Aperahama, wounded. Then came Te Otene Pura, of the Urimahoe with two hundred men, from Mangamuka. After this came Mohi Tawhai, and Arama Karaka Pi, from Waima, with two hundred men. Then came Te Hikutu, Rangatira's people, and Te Rarawa, in all eighteen page 84hundred men. Then some of Te Ihutai, under Wharepapa, joined us and some joined Heke.
"Our skirmishes with Heke were many before the Queen's soldiers came up. We had three Pas at Whakatere and Ahuahu. Kawiti drove off two detachments of ours on the East side of Te Ahuahu, and then came round on the West side, saying—I will try my skill with you, Te Peka Titoke' (i.e., a branch of the Titoki tree, alectryon excelsum, denoting great power and determination.) Our Pa was not fired upon when Kawiti came to the attack.
"We came out of our Pa and fought with them all day; night coming on, the other side fled. When the English Soldiers arrived at the Bay of Islands, they came up by way of Te Kerikeri river. We escorted them, and when they reached the inland district, they asked for Heke's Pa; they said:—'We will take it first and get our breakfast afterwards,' they fought all day but did not take the Pa. Kawiti's ambuscade was outside the Pa, and several Chiefs of Ngati-page 85hine and Ngatitautahi fell into the hands of the soldiers, the rest fled.* The soldiers fought at Ohaeawai, but did not take the Pa. Lieutenant Philpott fell here, and two hundred soldiers were killed and wounded. We did not join in the fight, but we went with the troops and carried away the wounded soldiers on the following day.
"After the fighting inland, we went with the troops to Kororareka, then they went on to Waikare, with Mohi Tawhai and Hauraki.† A number of our Maoris were killed and wounded, but none of the enemy. The soldiers did not fight, but they burnt the Pa. After this was the fight at Ruapekapeka. Governor Grey came then.
† A notable Chieftain who fell in the fight at Waikare mortally woonded.
* Some of the fights named in the above Maori Sketch occurred before the English troops took the field against Heke and Kawiti.
The loyalty expressed to the Government by the Kaipara and Waikato tribes gave confidence to all who were acquainted with the Maori character; and the pertinent message forwarded by Potatau, intimidated Heke, who prudently abandoned his project of sacking Auckland.
Although. Hone Heke was keenly sensitive in relation to the potitical position of his people, and though he had the hardihood to try his strength with that of the New Zealand Govern-page 89ment, his practice throughout the Northern war was extremely honorable. The atrocities and treacheries of his fathers in Maori warfare, were laid aside. Many a time he could have readily cut off the supplies of our troops, and harassed them in numerous ways, but he preferred fair open fight; and when the Maori priest ordered the body of Lieutenant Philpott to be mutilated, advantage was taken of Heke's absence, which mutilation he loudly condemned. The dead which fell into Heke's hands, he ordered to be carefully interred, and strictly prohibited his warriors from firing on all unarmed Europeans. When killing the guard who protected the flagstaff, he found a European woman in the block-house, probably the wife of one of the soldiers, who was conducted by him to a place of safety among her own people. Many other chivalrous acts of Heke were mentioned by the natives, which, not being recorded at the time, have passed into oblivion.*
Owing to the judicious course of procedure in the North, the bond of union then cemented between the Government and the Ngapuhis, has never been broken, but on the contrary, the spirit of friendliness between the races increased, and openly manifested itself at many great native gatherings in the Bay of Islands district: the tribes evincing their loyalty to the Queen of England and to Her Majesty's representatives here by erecting with unwonted Maori ceremony and honour, our present flagstaff at Maiki, Bay page 91of Islands. Kawiti's son, Maihi Te Kuhanga, being the leading man on the eventful occasion, stated that the father had cut down one staff, but the son would erect another, which no native would dishonour ever after. The sacredness with which this pledge has been kept, is alike laudable to Te Kuhanga and the Ngapuhi nation.
The ties that bound Patuone to the Thames district having been severed by the death of his wife Riria, his relatives wished him to return to his tribal possessions at Hokianga; but Sir George Grey invited him to Auckland, and secured for him an estate at the North Shore, of one hundred and ten acres, on which some of Patuone's relatives still live. The wisdom of Sir George Grey in placing near Auckland so distinguished a Ngapuhi Chief as Patuone, and in placing at Mangere the representative Chief of Lower and Upper Waikato, the late Potatau Te Wherowhero, was palpable to all those who had any knowledge of the Maori character; a policy which secured to Auckland perfect peace and security when undefended by troops, and its inhabitants comparatively few in number.
After the cessation of hostilities in the North, the Maori population rapidly advanced in agri-page 92cultural pursuits. Many tribes secured the services of millwrights, possessed themselves also of horses, ploughs, carts, harrows, and other implements of husbandry, and purchased numerous craft of various burthen, which they navigated, supplying the Auckland markets thereby with grain, flax, kauri gum and other commodities. Thousands of pounds were realised by the sale of Maori cargoes in Auckland, and the money spent in merchandise. Whilst the brisk trade continued, mutual confidence manifested itself between the races, a state of things maintained without interruption till the outbreak of the war at Taranaki; an outbreak which unhappily extended its ramifications throughout a great portion of the Northern Island.
Prior to the entrance of the English troops into the Waikato in 1863, Patuone waited upon Sir George Grey, and begged him not to cross the Mangatawhiri stream, that being the recognised boundary between the Government and the Maoris, observing:—"Ki te whiti koe, ka kataina taua e ia i runga nei: engari ma Waikato e whakawhiti mai, katahi taua ka tika," i.e., "If you cross the river [Mangatawhiri,] He who is above will laugh at us both; but if the Waikatos cross page 93over to us, we two shall be in the right." The advice tendered by Patuone was disregarded by Government, and the complications which resulted therefrom, still fresh in the memory of the colonists, need not be enumerated here.
There was always a kind word and a smile for Patuone when he met his European friends in the streets of towns or at their houses. The following noteworthy paragraph from the pen of the Rev. N Turner, in 1853, will no doubt interest the reader:—"At 5 p.m. our brig was tacking in the Gulf of Hauraki, near the spot where in 1840, poor Bumby was drowned. On the other side of the Gulf, beautifully situated, is the residence of Patuone, our deliverer from apparent destruction when fleeing for our lives from Whangaroa, in 1827. I met him in Auckland street on the day of my landing, when his face beamed with pleasure as I saluted him as our Kai-whakaora, i.e., preserver."
From the life of the Rev. J. H. Bumby, published in 1864, I cite the following:—"It was evident to Mr. Bumby that the Christian natives were passing through a trying process, namely, the transition from a barbarous to a civilised state. They had begun to wear European clothing, this page 94made them more liable to danger from wet and exposure, and hence every instance of neglect or of natural recurrence to former habits, brought on morbid affections which often resulted in inflammation, consumption, and death. The wife of William Barton, a fine young woman, daughter of Nene, or Thomas Walker, one of the Christian Chiefs of Hokianga, was in a declining state from this very cause. Many died about this time; but they died in the Lord. Mr. Turner introduced our friend to the same Chief Nene, who was a relative of Patuone, his protector when fleeing from Whangaroa; and the meeting gave pleasure on both sides. Mr. Turner spoke of his companion as the 'father' (that is, the superintendent) of the Missionaries. 'Ah,' said Thomas, who was a very shrewd and sensible man and subsequently took a very important part in his country's affairs, 'it is well; is he a father? He is but a boy; but perhaps he has the heart of a father.'"
Referring to Patuone, on the occasion of a visit from Auckland to Hokianga, in 1864, the late Rev. Walter Lawry, in his own graphic style, says—"After sitting twelve hours every day in the district meeting, we were glad of the ap-page 95proach of the holy Sabbath; and to me it was peculiarly interesting to witness the fleet of canoes nearing the station on the whole of Saturday. At early dawn on the Lord's day, the native prayer meeting began, which was attended by about one hundred persons, notwithstanding the frost. They sang very badly, but with evident interest and devotion. At ten o'clock, the large chapel was crowded with natives. Mr. Woon read the abridged service; and at the request of the brethren, I preached in English, Mr. Hobbs interpreting. Immediately after the public service ended, the love feast began; nor was any time lost, for the biscuits soon disappeared, and the speaking of the native Christians was very earnest and uninterrupted for about an hour and a half. At my request, Mr. Buller took down several of their speeches; they were as follows,—Paora Matangi—"My thoughts are little to-day, because I have sinned in those days that are passed against my Heavenly Father, the father of my body, and my relatives who have died in the faith. They were not left to die in their sins, but they departed in the faith of the Gospel; and I desire to follow them by fulfilling the injunction of the Apostle Paul to the Ephesians: page 96'Stand therefore, having your loins girt with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God: praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and waiting thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.'"
Tipene Toro.—"I did not formerly know that I was a sinner. I worshipped long before I felt a sense of my sins: but then I felt great pain in my heart, and sought mercy of God. I find great comfort from the words of Christ to Peter, 'I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not.' It is my desire not to trust in my own righteousness, but to the righteousness of Christ."
Edward Marsh, (Patuone.)—"This is my thought: I am from the seat of wickedness. When I heard of the Gospel, I thought to myself I would recline upon it. God made the world, the trees, and the grass, and He has given us His Word; and I will seek to be saved by it. That is all I have to say."page 97
In 1840, honorable mention is made of Patuone's brother, Waka Nene, in reference to those sublime truths bearing on the happiness of man. This is the record:—"On Tuesday there was a special service at Mangungu,' when the station was immensely crowded with natives. After the morning sermon, Mr. Waterhouse baptised ninety natives, and exhorted them through the medium of an interpreter, to. seek the baptism of the Holy Ghost and to yield themselves fully to the Lord. In the afternoon a love-feast was held, when, among others, Nene (Thomas Walker) spoke, also William Barton, his son-in-law, and Moses, with great feeling and impressiveness, of their conversion to Christ."
On the departure of Sir George Grey from New Zealand to the Governorship of the Cape, the utmost confidence was reposed in the Government of this country by the Maori population. Valedictory addresses were presented by numerous native tribes on the eve of Sir George Grey's embarkation for Africa. Patuone and John Hobbs were alike desirous of expressing their gratitude for public favours received and acknowledged by the Maori race. I extract here, as specimens, translations of the songs embodied page 98in the addresses of the two last mentioned persons. The following is from Patuone:—
Ye wintry winds that sweep amain,
Ye pierce me sore;
Ye are not careful to restrain
Your angry roar.
Cease while I scale Tapeka's height
That bounds the sea;
Perchance my friend is still in sight,
And waits for me.
I saw him last upon the steep,
Which surges lave;
But now there's nought upon the deep
But one wild wave.
Since thou alas! art called away,
And we must part;
Let thy affection near me stay
To soothe my heart.
John Hobbs's signature is attached to the following:—
I'll weep while thou art here,
For the winds of woe will sweep
O'er the wild and rocky steep
Of the land bound by the deep,
A land no longer free.
page 99 I love thee still, O Sire,
And I long my love to tell,
But am bound as by a spell,
While between us rolls the swell,—
The mountain swell of the sea.
On the drifting canoe I'll spring,
And there I'll lay me low,
And borne by the tides which flow,
To Karewa's rock I'll go,
And meet thee on the sea.
During his travels, which were numerous, throughout the Northern Island, Patuone was often brought into contact with those who felt the deepest interest in the well-being of the native people. The Rev. S. M. Spencer, of Maketu, who has long and faithfully laboured among the Arawa tribes, says of our late friend—" My earliest recollection of Eruera Maihi Patuone dates back to about 1844, when I was applied to by an old Tuhourangi Chief named Kohika, for assistance in the transmission of page 100a letter. The subject I did not then know; but I afterwards concluded it was to ask for the gift of a horse, as in the course of about a year afterwards one was received from Patuone, an iron-grey mare—the first animal of the species ever possessed by the tribe; indeed then no native inland of the Lake Country had ever owned one, except Te Heuheu, who was buried in the landslip at Taupo; whose horse by plunging kept himself above the debris and escaped uninjured. At this time, the only name by which I had heard our late friend mentioned was Patuone, as it was probably not till afterwards that he was baptised by Archdeacon Henry Williams, of the Bay of Islands. The only other circumstance in reference to this horse occurring to me is that Ho-hepa Tamamutu called one of his sons Kohika, probably from some temporary loan of the animal, that so his tribe might put in a claim for a share in the increase.
"It was not long afterwards that Patuone was brought directly to my notice when he and his people had left the Wade, where they had been occupying on sufferance, and were making a temporary sojourn at Matakana, opposite to Sir George Grey's residence at the Kawau. At this page 101time, during occasional visits to the island, they were allowed to bivouac in and about the boat house, where I had once an opportunity of assembling them for morning service, and engaging afterwards in conversation bearing upon their highest interests. I have since had reason to believe that my friends, Mr. and Mrs. Baker of the Church Mission, sought occasion to prepare this old, man for the great change inevitably so near to all of us. Whatever the opportunities which he and his tribe might have had in former years of our religious ministrations, they were greatly increased when he finally took up his. residence at the North Shore, at which time he was very far advanced in. life, and approaching to its close.
"These memories are recalled by the presentation of a photograph, copies of which had been obtained by my friends in the Church Mission, above named."
Loyal and faithful as was Patuone's attachment to the English, through a long series of years, demonstrated in a variety of ways before many respectable witnesses, yet was he nearly entrapped into legal difficulties, or criminal prosecution and perhaps death, in consequence of the extraor-page 102dinary wickedness of a European settler named Burns, who was in the late Chief's employ, the payment for whose services from time to time I was called upon to defray. This man's weekly allowance was small, owing to his indolent and drunken habits, and being spurred on by his evil propensities to obtain more money for the gratification of his base wants, he devised the cruel, cowardly, and inhuman plan of sacrificing the lives of some of his fellow colonists. It is averred that Burns and a companion of his in guilt named Margaret Reardon, started from Patuone's place in a boat about midnight, for the purpose of visiting the home of Lieutenant Snow, near the Flagstaff, Takapuna; they having watched the movements of that gentleman during the day, after the receipt of his salary from the Auckland Treasury. On reaching Lieutenant Snow's homestead, Burns and Margaret Reardon were encountered by a large watchdog, and when they had succeeded in strangling this faithful sentinel, they hurried to the house under the pretext of warning the inmates, who were asleep in bed, of a Maori attack upon the North Shore settlers. Lieutenant Snow, hearing the voice of a European, and not sus-page 103pecting treachery, opened his door, when he was ruthlessly struck down. Mrs. Snow in her turn was assaulted, but not speedily dispatched. The strong motive for this terrible deed being plunder, it was expected that Mrs. Snow would yield up to the murderers her purse, in the hope of saving her own life and that of her child; but such hope was vain, for after Burns had mercilessly cut off one of Mrs. Snow's legs, her child was beaten to death, and ultimately she had to succumb to the knives and axes of her assassins. After the murder a further mutilation of the bodies took place, Burns having hoped by this savage procedure, to fix the guilt on the Maoris; he accordingly returned to Patuone's place after setting Snow's residence on fire, and leaving a large party of Patuone's Maori friends in the neighbourhood who were encamped there on a fishing excursion. As a matter of course, there was intense excitement when the murders came to be known, and certain Maori authorities, on viewing the mutilated state of the bodies, unhesitatingly declared that it was certainly the work of Maori savagery. But knowing that the natives had no motive to induce them to perpetrate these outrages, I assured the page 104authorities that the guilty parties were almost beyond a doubt, of our own race. A popular clamour for the incarceration of all suspected Maoris was kept up, and in order to institute a preliminary investigation, about twenty of Patuone's friends were arrested; they were subjected to the keenest magisterial enquiry, but, no shadow of guilt resting upon them, they were liberated. Nothing transpired for some time after the perpetration of the terrible deed referred to upon which to base even a suspicion as to the guilty parties. In the mean time, Burns went to and fro to Patuone's place, but ultimately shipped on board one of Her Majesty's sloops of war which cruised on the Australian coast. For months the police lost no opportunity of seeking out information which might lead to the apprehension of the culprits in the Snow case, but in vain. Actuated by some extraordinary desire, Burns suddenly returned to Auckland, and during an altercation between himself and Margaret Reardon, in the vicinity of the Black Bull Hotel, he rushed upon her with a large knife, and after inflicting a terrible wound, which it was supposed would prove fatal, he attempted to commit suicide by cutting his own throat. Intelligence page 105of the affray between them was conveyed to the police, who finding Burns and Margaret Reardon lying on the ground besmeared with blood, arrested them both. Medical aid was called in, and after a lengthened treatment, these two degraded persons, now suspected of Snow's murder, sufficiently recovered to undergo the ordeal of a legal investigation. While under examination at the police court, they confessed to some knowledge of Snow's murder, but wickedly attributed the guilt to a perfectly innocent man, who had for many years resided at the Flagstaff, much respected by all who knew him. The settler was forthwith arrested, and after undergoing various criminal harassments, instituted by the authorities, he was permitted to return to his family, while Burns and Margaret Reardon were rightly retained in prison by the iron grasp of the law, in the hope that further revelations would be extorted from them. Suffice it to say that the guilt was finally fixed upon Burns, he having confessed not only to the murder of the Snow family, but also to two other murders in Auckland previously. Burns was taken to the North Shore, where he paid the extreme penalty of the law on the spot page 106where he had murdered and mutilated his victims; and the woman, Margaret Reardon, was placed in penal servitude for life. Thus by the triumph of truth, a noble-minded veteran Chieftain and a number of his intimate Maori friends were exonerated from the dark stigma of murder.
When numerous Arawa tribes moved from the Lake Country to the shores of the Waitemata, Whangarei, and other places, for the purpose of advancing their interest in commerce by gum digging and other means, they threatened to attack the out-settlers, or to rescue from prison an Englishman named Charles Marsden, that they might lay violent hands on him, owing to his having killed, in a fit of delirium tremens, an Arawa Chieftainess named Kerara. Patuone proffered good counsel to Government, not unthankfully received at this time of emergency. So irritated and boastful were some of the Arawa, parading the Auckland streets with their spears and battleaxes, that Colonel Wynyard considered it necessary to watch their movements, and to place soldiers in the gaol yard during the trial of the unfortunate man, who was charged with murder; and to quell the tumult of the page 107great concourse of Maoris near the Court house, I advised that numerous Arawa Chiefs should assist in keeping the peace by being sworn in as special constables, which happily had the desired effect. Charles Marsden was condemned to death, which fully satisfied the more vehement of the Arawas, who seemed bent on blood revenge, and who in their usual style of braggartism, threatened that they would have retaliated if the law had pronounced the accused innocent. It must not be supposed that the war dances and various meetings held by the Arawas, on which I was deputed by Colonel Wynyard fully to report, were countenanced by the Ngatiwhatuas, the Waikatos, or the Thames tribes.
Very widely different from the spirit evinced by the Arawas was that of the tribes of Hauraki, when one of their Chiefs named Taraiwaru, was arrested on suspicion of having thrown overboard one Smalley the master of a coasting cutter, with whom he was associated. The accused native was examined in the Police Court, and, though there was not the slightest evidence brought forward to implicate him in the alleged murder, nevertheless, he was detained in prison, the authorities assuring themselves that, Maori-like, the prisoner page 108would divulge the whole affair were he guilty. Taraiwaru's own story was very simple, and probably true; he stated that the master of the cutter left in a dingy to visit some natives with whom he was trading, whose settlement was a short distance from the place where the vessel was at anchor. The dingy was found, but its late occupant never. There was no deviation in Taraiwaru's account; he invariably held to the same story. His relatives at the Thames ventured to ask, not with uplifted weapons and boastful asseverations, as did the Arawa, but modestly, what grounds there were for continuing the incarceration of the alleged culprit. Their enquiries met with no decisive answers on the part of the Government, while the poor fellow, despairing of ever again obtaining his liberty, although a stout and hale man, speedily sickened and died. The intelligence created profound sorrow in the minds of the Thames people, and although they considered that their relative had been unjustly treated, there was no outward demonstration, no ostentatious display; a fact that pleased Patuone and all those who were faithful to the Government.
Now comes an affair which, places a section of page 109Patuone's special friends the Ngatipaoa, in a position somewhat akin to that of the Arawa previously described in the case of Kerara, with which, however, himself had no sympathy. The following are the particulars:—A disturbance took place in the streets of Auckland, when the police interfered and arrested a Maori, who was being taken to the lock-up when a well-disposed Ngatipaoa Chief went forward, not to rescue the prisoner but to explain the origin of the riot. The Police, mistaking perhaps Hoera's intention, handled him very roughly, and placed him also in the lock-up. An exaggerated account of the treatment the Chief had met with at the hands of the constables, was quickly promulgated, and the excitement arising therefrom culminated in the assembling of the tribe, amounting to two or three hundred persons, who manned their canoes at Waiheke, Kawakawa, and elsewhere. The whole party landing at Auckland, fully armed, the leading Chiefs proceeded to Government House and demanded explanations. The premature proceedings of these warriors irritated the Governor, who peremptorily ordered the Chiefs and their people to take their departure from the city in two hour, ad-page 110ding, that should this order be resisted, the guns of the man-of-war then in harbour would be opened on them at Mechanics Bay, and the troops would fall upon them in the rear. The Ngati-paoas had the good sense to drag their canoes to low water mark, and to re-embark long before the expiration of the time announced by the Government for their departure. Sentinels were placed in various localities near the city, as it was expected that the Ngatipaoas, who were burning with rage on account of their humiliation, would return to the outskirts of the town to massacre settlers, in accordance with Maori usage; but prudence and wisdom triumphed, and the Government got through the difficulty without further annoyance.
Another rise to arms on the part of sundry tribes resident at Papakura, Patumahoe, and the surrounding neighbourhood, took place, based upon the alleged murder of one of their people by a European settler. The body of the Maori was discovered in a field, and carried off with wild lamentations to a temporary encampment. The more turbulent of the party advocated immediate retaliation, declaring that this act of the white man was a declaration of war, for the pur-page 111pose of bringing out into open hostility the Waikato tribes; but the more thoughtful recommended an investigation by law, which counsel was adopted by the assembly, and messengers were accordingly sent to Government, requesting them to institute an enquiry, which was acceded to. At the examination some of the Maoris present charged a European resident in the vicinity with the perpetration of the deed; but there being no reliable evidence to fix the guilt upon any particular person or persons, the court dismissed the case. Happily the Maoris bowed submissively to the dictum of the law, and matters at once quieted down. But the acoused European, notwithstanding, abandoned his home, to avert the supposed ill intentions of some of the more violent. The bearing of the Government during these critical junctures, and the prudence exercised by them, cannot be too loudly praised.
During the Superintendency of Mr. Whitaker, Patuone was courteously received by him at various times, and the favours solicited were cheerfully acceded to by the Provincial Government. Mr. Whitaker strongly advised Patuone to make his will, a recommendation that was page 112carried into practice without delay. Mr. E. Davis, Mr. J. C. Young, and myself were chosen executors to Patuone's estate; a respected friend, the Rev. J. Buller, Wesleyan Minister, interpreting the deed, and signing it as chief witness. The legal settlement of Patuone's North Shore lands during his lifetime was wise and judicious as it prevented his son, Hohaia, from frittering away a valuable property; and it provided a comfortable homestead for our departed friend's relatives, who are at present residing thereon.
In 1866, at a sitting in Auckland of the General Synod of the New Zealand Anglican Church, Patuone took much interest in the proceedings, and when a day was set apart for special service, and the administration of the Holy Communion, to which the members of the various parishes were invited, Patuone waited on me expressing his desire to partake of the Sacrament. At the Convocation of the Bishops and Clergy, we repaired to St. Paul's Cathedral, where the Lord's Supper was duly administered to us both; the solemnity of the occasion, and the marked reverence of the late venerable Maori Chief were peculiarly interesting, and left on my mind an impression not easily effaced.page 113
A short time previous to the events above narrated, Patuone's feebleness of body convinced me that he was unable to do much manual labour in the fields; and knowing how indifferent are Maoris generally to the wants of declining age, 1 thought it right to address a letter to the Government on my friend's behalf, begging that a small amount per annum be allowed in order that necessary medical comforts might be procured for him. I waited on the Hon. Dr. Pollen, then General Government Agent, and that gentleman having kindly recommended the granting of my request in favour of Patuone, an allowance of twenty pounds per annum was granted, which greatly cheered the old Chieftain, Waka Nene his brother, and others. Some time after this, the Hon. Sir D. McLean very generously increased the annuity to fifty pounds, which additional act of benevolence Mr. S. C. G. Vickers, of the Native Office, informs me took place on 1st July, 1871.
Shortly before Patuone's last illness, he took page 115the opportunity, while able, of visiting his European friends residing in Auckland city and suburbs, to wish them farewell. He made my house his home for several days, and travelled on foot to carry out his cherished desire of bidding good-bye to all he knew. After the accomplishment of this sacred duty, as he deemed it, he went home and issued a proclamation to the tribes to the effect that the usual Maori feastings and lamentations were not to be observed when his decease should be announced. This brought to his side a large body of the Thames people, who in token of deep respect, lamented over him while living, and in their orations, lasting several days, enumerated the excellent deeds called forth by his benevolence of heart. Their speeches were replied to by his relatives, he being too feeble to answer his assembled friends in a style befitting so great an occasion. The following is a translation of a paper enclosed to me, bearing date July 19th, 1872:—
"At this time, I utter a word of affection to my European friends residing in this island and embracing those on the other side, extending to the Queen. I now discover, on July 19th, 1872, my page 116extreme feebleness of body, and I wish, to greet the English people, and the Governors, the friends of myself and brother [Waka Nene] in days gone by.
"O friends, salutations to you all, and to our Mother the Queen, underneath God's shadow, salutations to you! Great is my love to you all now that I am so weak and my heart frail. God is Director of our times; He determines our lot; He is the Giver of life and the Appointer of death. As to myself, God protected me and preserved me, and I now understand that our God's care extends over a long period, [i.e., extended my life to extreme old age]. Although the sins of the world are great, God loves it still; He does not quickly manifest His anger, but shews His mercy.
"O friends, the God of you, of your fathers [i.e., the God of the English] has preserved me—the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. The God who gives us breath, and in whom the whole world may rest—the Stone that was laid in Sion—the Chief Corner Stone.—(See 1 Peter ii., 6, 7, 8.) He—that Stone that was rejected—has saved me. Lo, this is my word to you:—Do you protect my grandchildren and my people during the time of page 117confusion [i.e., war] lest we call on the Lord's name in vain. (See 1 Peter i., 23.)—For if ye be born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever, then your love to them will be as your own love to yourselves; (as in Romans, xiii., 9.) This is a word of remembrance from me to you, let your consideration be in accordance with the rule of Scripture; let you and the ministers of religion look after us [i.e., the Maoris] because evil abounds; and the love of man to God waxes cold, and man's love also to man; be loving to us Maoris who are inclined to go astray into many paths, for the flesh is at enmity with the spirit, and the spirit with the flesh. But how shall these things be realised? We have no strength to do anything rightly, but the power is with God. My prayer and call to God is that He will preserve me from evil now, and that He will preserve my people during the years that come after me. He it was who strengthened my heart in the past and held back from me the hand of evil and death, raising me up when sickness came, and inclining my heart to think of Him; drawing me from death unto life.page 118
"O friend, greetings to you, now that God's mercy abounds to us. Sufficient.
"From your loving friend,
(Signed) Eru Patuone."
"To the Maoris, O hearken, O! Maori people, to the words of my mouth. Do you love one another. Let the men love the men, and the women one another in Christ. Here is a word to the women: 'Women obey your husbands,' and let the children honour their fathers and mothers that they may be long in the land given them by Jehovah. These words above are contained in the Catechism, and in Peter iii. Let not the Chiefs be unkind to their servants, but be slow to anger, for our Lord is in heaven [looking upon us]. Let your good works be constant one to another, (1 Timothy vi., 18). If you carry out these principles, then God will approvingly look upon the sensitive heart. Do not indulge in obnoxious practices, for evil has increased, and Christian rules of love are decreasing.
"Friend Wiremu Tarapata, [Patuone's nephew] look after those things which have been committed to your care. Turn away from evil speakings and false sayings, (1 Timothy ii., 20), page 119because the Spirit of God when in the heart of man speaks only the truth; so all those who resist the power, resist the law of God.—(Romans xiii., 2). Be in opposition to evil, and cleave to that which is good. Love sincerely one another in brotherly affection and uphold one another. Be not slothful, be fervent in spirit, fearing the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be persevering in prayer.—(Romans xii., 10, 11, 12). Remember James says:—'When lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death.
"Hold fast the Christian faith. Enough.
"From your loving grandfather,
(Signed) "Eru Patuone."
Not long after the occurrences narrated above. Patuone became increasingly feeble, and it was generally expected by his friends that a few days would terminate his career on earth. H. T. Kemp, Esq., Civil Commissioner, was requested to visit him. That gentleman at once obeyed the dying Chief's summons, and during the whole of Patuone's last illness, Mr. Kemp; with unremitting attention, provided all that was necessary in the way of medical comforts, frequently anticipating his wants, and indeed far page 120exceeding them, which benevolent acts were highly appreciated by Patuone, and called forth repeatedly his grateful acknowledgments.
Mr. Thomas Poynton, of the Lake, North Shore, and other European friends, paid their respects to Patuone while the tide of his life was ebbing out; and it was most pleasing to observe, while lying in his house, the joy that lighted up his countenance on recognising his Pakeha friends. How could a man possessing such benevolent feelings and disinterestedness of heart be otherwise than happy under the circumstances!
* On reliable authority it is stated that the merchants of Sydney invited to that City twenty-five distinguished Chiefs. Presents of guns, powder, and other war munitions, were made; and while many covetously carried off the best goods given, Patuone selected a small powder flask, valued at two shillings and sixpence, and steadily refused to appropriate to himself any other article; whereupon, the Sydney merchants exclaimed, "Patuone is a true gentleman."
The following, under date August 22nd, 1872, was sent by his relatives:—
"We have all assembled to see our elder one, Eru Patuone. His words of good-will were expressed to us. We greeted at the same time our father, saying, Salutations, O father, the father of the people, the parent of the orphan left in the world. O father of good words and deeds, when you are gone, there will be no one to care for us. Who is like you in this world, so mindful of men? Who will take your place when you are gone? The Rata tree [Patnone] under which orphans find shelter is disappearing, and perhaps now the wind will smite us, that is, the unfeeling words of others. Enough, O father, we will, after your decease, call to remembrance your words of affection, your goodness, and your kind deeds; also your uninterrupted union with the European race."
To his son he said:—
"My son, be considerate and allow the people to live on the land who are now in possession. Let not the people be treated roughly, for kindness page 122will endear you to others. Cleave to my rules of action after I am gone, so that the people may not think ill of you. In no wise neglect kindness; it is a power that will help you, and if any wish to come hither, let them live with you. Do not forget good offices. Timoti, be good to the tribe and to the Pakeha. O Mr. Davis, be attentive to the people now living on this land. Enough."
While the lamp of life was being gradually extinguished, frequent messages were sent to me, sometimes oral communications, and at other times on paper. The following is a written message:—
"From my lips.
"Hearken, O European side,—This is a word of farewell from me to you while I am in possession of my faculties, for I may shortly go hence. O my European friends, be good to the Maoris, for you have been my shelter till now, and the shelter of my people, and you have manifested benignity to the Maori race. Let you and the Maoris be united in purpose. I deprecate all wars between the Europeans and Maoris. O that the Maoris may act with due page 123caution lest they heedlessly arouse the anger of the English."
Thus quietly did Patuone pass away from time into that eternal state whither we are all hastening, and from whence no traveller returns. The funeral obsequies were undertaken by the page 124Government, under the supervision of Mr. Kemp; and the late Chief having expressed a wish to be buried in the cemetery of Trinity Church, Devonport, among his English friends, and near to the grave of the late Captain Wynyard, his wish was scrupulously respected. A hearse was provided, and the remains were conveyed to the Devonport Hall, followed by the chief mourners, the Auckland officials, volunteers, and a number of citizens, together with a large concourse of natives, each wearing on his hat or in his hair, the old Maori mourning—sprigs of evergreens and the white flowers of the native clematis. After holding a religious service in the Hall, conducted by the Rev. R. Burrows, the funeral procession moved on to the graveyard, where the burial service was read, and the remains interred with military honours, the Maoris taking the sprigs and flowers from their heads, consigned them to the grave, which was some time afterwards enclosed by Government with a chaste iron fence, and on the stone slab surmounting the grave, are inscribed the following words in Maori and English:—
"Whisper Thy love into my heart.
Warn me of my approaching end,
And then I joyfully depart,
And then I to Thy arms ascend."
Ko te tohu tapu
page 125 Te Tuakana
Tamati Waka Nene;
Tamariki a Tapua;
He Rangatira nui
He hoa aroha no te Pakeha
He kai hapai i te tare Kuini;
He kai hohou rongo ki tona iwi.
I mate ki Akarana
19 o Hepetema, 1872.
Na te Kawanatanga
O Nui Tireni
Tenei kohatu i whakatakoto,
Hei tohu tuturu mona.
Sacred to the Memory of
elder brother of
Tamati Waka Nene,
Sons ot Tapua;
A noted Chieftain of the
A warm friend of Europeans,
Supporter of the Queen's laws.
page 126 And peacemaker with his own countrymen.
Died at Auckland,
19th September, 1872.
This stone is erected
by the Government
of New Zealand.
The memory of Patuone is cherished by a large circle of European friends, and as to the Ngapuhi tribes, they have lost in him a great national pillar not likely to be replaced; for it must be admitted that the modern Maori is far inferior, physically and mentally, to the great patriarchal Chiefs who have almost all disappeared from native circles of commercial and political notoriety. Closely associated as he was with our race, and allied to us in the bonds of brotherhood, he neither adopted our drinking customs nor the use of tobacco, standing forth in bold relief as a protest against the vicious habits of the present Maori generation, who make it their study to copy our vices, but seldom, if ever, our virtues. As it was designed that Patuone, after the decease of his father, Tapua, should take upon himself the duties of priest, he was educated accordingly in all that appertained to the sacerdotal office. Familiarized with the page 127ancient mythology of his race, its legendary lore, and all other matters calculated to raise the priesthood to the highest pinnacle of dignity and influence, we can understand how it came to pass that he should have been quoted by the Northern tribes as an authority in political and religious Maori affairs; for it must be remembered that the priest, by the common consent of the people, was the medium between mortals and all invisible beings supposed to take an active part in the history of each individual still in the flesh. As may be expected, his mind was richly stored with Maori notions regarding the duties of mortals towards the imagined supernatural powers. His knowledge too was extensive in relation to the required offerings of the first fruits of the soil to the recognised deities, the intricacies of the legislative enactments of the Tapu, and the other multitudinous rites in connexion with the religious and civil observances of the Maoris in their heathen state, our knowledge of which, as far as our late friend was concerned, has passed away with him; such subjects, often styled superstitions, never having been seriously investigated by the early Christian philanthropists, nor by the colonists generally; page 128enquiries into such topics being looked upon with little or no interest.
I cannot close this brief biography of the late great and good Ngapuhi Chief, without recording my regret that so many kindred spirits of his race should have "joined the great unseen majority," leaving no chronicle of their noble sayings and deeds; but let us hope that the more advanced Maori will not suffer the excellent traits of his countrymen to pass unnoticed in the rich annals of our New Zealand worthies.