Journal of the Nelson and Marlborough Historical Societies, Volume 1, Issue 3, November 1983
Meadowbank Run No. 13 (1854)
Meadowbank Run No. 13 (1854)
The history of some of the runs in the Lower Wairau are difficult to record for various reasons. The very early records are fragmentary, different writers have given vague facts which sometimes conflict with one another and sometimes even official descriptions conflict in their detail of boundaries etc. For instance the eastern boundary of Meadowbank Run of 1854, which is the earliest description we can find is: By the left bank of the Taylor River, southward by the crest of the hills dividing the Wairau from the Kaiparatehau (Awatere). Whereas the description of the western boundry of the next Run to the east (Taylor River Run No. 14) says, by the Taylor River from the surveyed land to where it turns at a right angle to the eastward, from that point the boundary follows the eastern base of a long ridge in which the west branch of the Taylor takes its rise, up to the extreme western source of the main stream of the "Taylor".
On the sketch map of the Wairau Runs of 1849 the name of G. Duppa is shown, but on a sketch map of 1850 John and William Oldham are shown as occupiers. They still held this licence for this run in 1854 and transferred it in 1856 to William and Henry Eyes and Charles Empson. The western boundary of this run was the Fairhall River.
Eyes and Empson were bits of wolves in purchasing land out of their neighbours runs. About 1861 or 1862 they bought several sections out of C. B. Wither's "Taylor River Run" (between the Taylor River and the Branch River, called at this time the west Taylor River, from their juncture and Vinegar Point westward, thus effectively cutting off their neighbour's access to further land west which C. B. Wither had to buy up quickly. A stalemate position arose with neither side giving way until, in 1866, Eyes and Empson found themselves in financial difficulties due to falling wool prices and sold their interest in Meadowbank Run to Dr. Ralph Richardson, M.D. M.A. C. B. Wither then sold the cut off land to Richardson the following year.
Before this Dr. Richardson had returned to live in England and his agent in N.Z. leased the run to Arthur Penrose Seymour until 1882 when the Doctor's youngest son, George Billingsley Richardson became manager.
It is difficult to follow the history of the surveyed sections (Budge's Survey) between Meadowbank Run and New Renwick Road, but at various periods some of them were owned by Eyes and Empson, some by Henry Seymour of Kent and some were probably leased to whoever was farming Meadowbank, as one map shows the run with access through to New Renwick Road. From 1870 onwards H. Seymour sold off some of the sections to various buyers.
In 1898 G. B. Richardson leased the greater part of Meadowbank to George Turner Seymour for fifteen years. In 1903 a small part of the run was leased to Philip Verco for the extraction of lime, but this only lasted a short time.
In 1907 G. B. Richardson conveyed Meadowbank Run, which was then of 18,827 acres to Mrs Amy Bell, wife of Robert John Bell, along with a flock of seven thousand merino sheep for £9,900. Mrs Bell signed a sale of purchase agreement with Edwards Francis Joseph Grigg of 'Akaunui', Eiffelton, Canterbury for the sale of 'Meadowbank' along with a flock of 7,000 merino sheep for £48,850; this commenced a long association of the Grigg family with this land, though today it is farmed by two cousins who are grandsons of E. F. J. Grigg under two or more separate titles.page 24