William Henry Valpy was a judge employed by the Honorable India Company before retiring and returning to England at the age of 43 in 1836. He chose to emigrate to New Zealand due to poor health and arrived at the town of Dunedin in 1849. Accompanying him on the ship Ajax, which took 116 days to arrive from "Home," were his wife, a son, four daughters, and large amounts of money. He was "worth" two thousand pounds a year, which works out at today's value as being roughly a quarter of a million dollars annually.
The Valpys and their cash made an immediate impression on the people of Dunedin. They were rich, fashionable and cultured. Unfortunately for some of their neighbours, they were also English.
One of the main reasons for the Scottish settlers to come to the other side of the world was an event which had occurred in Scotland in 1843. The Presbyterian Church of Scotland had enjoyed a tradition of freedom from outside influence, particularly from monarch or government, in Church affairs - this had been established by the "Claim of Right" of 1683 and ratified by the 1707 Act of Union which unified Scotland and England to create the United Kingdom.
In 1843 a group within the Church gained control and passed a "Veto Act," giving parishoners the right to refuse a minister appointed by a wealthy or powerful patron. After some years, the Church split and roughly one third formed the Free Church of Scotland and, soon after, the Free Church formed the Colony of Otago, with Dunedin as its capital.
On Thursday last we had the gratification of being present at Mr. Valpy's Harvest Home, at the Forbury, when a large party assembled to do justice to the hospitality and good cheer provided by the worthy host. A large tent was erected on a sheltered part of the grounds for the occasion; and under the canopy of two of the beautiful ferntrees so peculiar to New Zealand, spread their graceful foliage over the happy company.
In 1843 a group within the Church gained control and passed a "Veto Act," giving parishoners the right to refuse a minister appointed by a wealthy or powerful patron. After some years, the Church split and roughly one third formed the Free Church of Scotland and, soon after, the Free Church formed the Colony of Otago, with Dunedin as its capital.
[From the "Otago News" April 4, 1849.]
At the conclusion of the first year of our residence in New Zealand, and as "pioneers and founders of a new colony," we consider that the world has a right to demand the benefit of that year's experience; more particularly that portion of intending settlers who have been "anxiously waiting" for disinterested information from parties already located here. In making the following observations, we beg distinctly to assure the intending immigrant that whilst we are unavoidably compelled to omit many favorable characteristics, instead of exaggerating those already reported, we prefer the mere publication of facts, with little or no comment whatever, considering that a feeling of duty towards those who may be influenced by our writings, and a principle of true policy respecting our adopted country, alike demand honesty upon such an occasion.
The town of Dunedin is situate at the head of the bay, extending along the whole water frontage, and for a considerable distance inland. A low range of sandy formation, to the eastward of the bay, shuts out the sea, which must at one time have flowed through what is now the harbour. The principal part of the houses at present are built between two small hills in Princes Street — which runs in a continuous line from North to South through the town. The unevenness of the ground, though it may render it more picturesque, unfits it in some measure, for business purposes; and we have little doubt that, as the number of inhabitants increase, the main body of the town will be more towards the North-East Valley and Pelichet's Bay, on what at the present time presents the appearance of a swamp; a few good drains, however, would carry off all the surface water, and leave fine building purposes. The small hills at the back would form delightful spots for crescents and detached villas, offering a prospect of the bay and the town, with a peep at the ocean beyond. A little to the left of which a gradual "swelling hill" rises, with a fine commanding view of the ocean the whole of the town — and the wood covered heights on each side of the harbour. Here rest the mortal remains of some of our fellow settlers, — away from the confusion and noise of a town, taking their "long and silent sleep" in the midst of nature's life and loveliness. Below, may be seen the edifice set apart for a Church, — a plain wooden building with a Public Library appended: — the Manse and Captain Cargill's residence, neat mansions of wood, towards the south end of the town, with small gardens attached; — Mr. Valpy's house forming a conspicuous object, but not a very pleasing one in point of architecture: — the principal Surveyor's house, on a small rising ground, with its fanciful verandah: — a confused cluster of buildings around the Commercial Inn: — and the Royal Hotel; — these are some of the most prominent objects in the picture of the town. Here and there, too, dotted amongst the houses, may be seen the painted top of a gipsy-tent; or the more rustic dwellings of clay and grass, peeping from bower of trees. The number of houses is about 110, and of inhabitants, including the country around, about 760. A small garden is attached to many of the houses, sufficient for growing a few vegetables. The streets are 66 feet wide, and will, in time, be drained and gravelled. Sites are reserved for markets, and public buildings in the principal streets. We have a Police Magistrate, two physicians, one solicitor, three merchants, two butchers, two bakers, five shoemakers, one tailor, several storekeepers, carpenters, and sawyers. We have, also, two hotels, a newspaper, a gaol, a jetty, two good barracks comfortably fitted for the reception of immigrants, a brick field and a stone quarry. The town is but moderately supplied with good water; though a slight outlay would remedy this evil: — the Water of Leith — a fine clear stream — is at a short distance, and might be easily conveyed into the town. Wood is rather an expensive item in family economics, costing about 12s, per cord; the labouring class, however, generally employ their children to bring it from the neighbouring bush, or cut it when their day's work is over. -Wellington Independant, 2/5/1849.
|William Henry Valpy, collection of Toitu Otago Settlers' Museum.|
William Valpy soon became a part of Dunedin society, as seen here in the report of one of the first efforts of the Scottish settlers to "keep the riff-raff out" - and to prevent the government in London from imposing its jurisdiction upon the people of Otago.
OTAGO. PUBLIC MEETING. (From the Otago News, May 30 .)
A meeting having been called by several of the inhabitants to take into consideration Ear1 Grey's proposal of introducing "convict exiles" into this Settlement, a numerous assembly met on Saturday, at the Church; W. H. Valpy, Esq., in the Chair.
Mr. Kettle having read the requisition calling the meeting together, and the Rev. Mr. Burns having asked the divine blessing upon the proceedings; the despatch of the Secretary of State for the Colonies and that of the Lieutenant Governor were given to the meeting.
The Chairman then called upon the Rev. Mr. Burns, who read the following propositions, which were "collectively" seconded by Captain Cargill, and unanimously carried by the meeting:
1st: — "That this meeting deeply sympathises with the difficult question raised by the British Government as to the disposal of convicts who have undergone part of their punishment under an experimental system of discipline and instruction; and whilst they regard with admiration and thankfulness the benevolent efforts of statesmen for the complete reformation of these unhappy persons, and their final establishment in circumstances of usefulness and respectability, the meeting at the same time is decidedly of opinion, that a young colony is the very last which could venture to receive any portion of such a class of person into its own bosom.
2nd: — "That considering the peculiar temptations to which the settlers of a distant infant colony are exposed, owing to the diminished force of public opinion — the relaxed observance of religious duties which a scanty and scattered population is apt to induce — and the greater facilities to intemperance or idleness afforded by easier circumstances, together with the casual and unavoidable advent of loose characters amongst them from other places, all requiring the most strenuous and careful maintenance of such moral and religious appliances as a young community can command, in order to its own purity and well being. The meeting is decidedly of opinion that the influx of persons whose expulsion from the mother country was caused by their own crimes, whose alleged reformation is mainly based upon coercion and restraint, and whose evil tendencies may all return the moment such restraint is withdrawn — is a proposal fraught only with evil and cannot be too strenuously deprecated, being in fact a proposal on the part of the strong to fling off a burden, which it feels to be intolerable, and to lay it upon the weak.
3rd: — "That amongst a body of convicts under treatment with a view to their reformation such, in the opinion of the meeting, is the difficulty of separating the really reclaimed, from those who are only apparently so, that in making a selection there would be found ten of the latter for one of the former, and that the consequent moral contamination [such as ensued at Auckland], would prove not only a most serious injury to the European settlers, but a fearful infliction upon the morals of the natives, amongst whom, in their several reserves, they would speedily find themselves.
4th: — "That with regard to the righteous expression in Earl Grey's despatch, namely, that the tickets of leave (should) admit of restricting them to particular districts, and of enforcing the payment of moderate sums in return for the cost of their conveyance, but do not in other respects interfere with the freedom of the men to whom they are granted, nor diminish the ordinary motives to industry and good conduct; the meeting is of opinion
1st: — "That in addition to the burden of repayment, there would be a tendency to seek their services by persons whose only object is cheap labour, without caring to give fair value for work done and which, together with the feeling that most others were shy of them, would be greatly discouraging to such of those unhappy men as might be really disposed to do well, and
2nd: — "That the introduction into the labour market would be injurious to the working classes at large, who were prepared to compete with the labour of natives, and of Europeans, who had joined the settlement at their own expense, but not with men in the urgent circumstances of exile convicts.
5th: — ''That the meeting is decidedly of opinion with respect to ticket of leave men, that without the summary and rigid appliances of a penal settlement, it would be impossible to hinder any number of them from going where they pleased, and nestling amongst the natives, and therefore that the institutions of any settlement in which they should be located, must of necessity have much of a penal character.
6th: — "That the great majority of the Otago settlers, of every class, would never have come to New Zealand, except for the pledges that they were to have free initiations, and, that the Parkhurst experiment was never to be repeated; and that the meeting feels assured that the settlers have only to avow, as is hereby most decidedly done, their unalterable hold upon these pledges, in order to their being fulfilled to the letter, and in the full spirit which gave rise to them." -New Zealander, 12/7/1849.
First Otago Census (excerpt)
No. 14. Report as to Roads.
Referring to the Maps of Dunedin, and the Districts adjoining, it will be observed that a little to the North of the principal landing place in Dunedin there is a shallow beach heretofore frequented by Natives, and useful in all weather for the hauling up of light boats, for which purpose it has therefore been retained. The main line of Princes-street and Georges-street descends abruptly to this beach on either side, and crosses it within a few paces of high-water, and this frontage has therefore been connected with the principal landing place, by means of a metalled road carried round by Princes-street, and a substantial wooden bridge over the boggy streamlet at the Surveyor's Office, which completes the arrangements to facilitate the landing of goods and passengers, and for placing them at once on the main line of roads. This metalled piece of road is 400 yards long, and a metalled footpath 110 yards long, has been carried on from it to the School House, which is also in use for public worship.
The principal landing place consists of a wooden Jetty abutting upon a stone pier, and equipped with a crane equal to 3 tons weight. Taking this Jetty as the starting point, dray roads have been run — first by the line of George-street, and onwards through the suburban lands to the head of the North-East Valley, a distance of three and a-half miles, and a continuous flat. From thence a bridle road has been carried over the hills to the landing place at Port Chalmers, a further distance of about five miles, and the whole distance is easily accomplished on horseback within two hours. These hills are in many places steep, mostly in bush, and the highest point to be crossed, has an elevation of about 1100 feet above the level of the sea.
A second dray road has been carried in a North-Westerly direction, passing by the public cemetery to the Wakari district, or more generally called the Half Way Bush, in relation to its position on the way to the West side of the Taieri plain. This road is tortuous owing to the intervening hill, which rises to about 500 feet, but it is quite accessible, and not more than two and a-half miles long. A third dray road has been commenced by the South end of Princes-street over the lowest point of the range of hill, which separates the back of the Town from the valley of the Kaikarai and which point being only about 400 feet high, is gained by a natural and easy incline. — This road is intended to connect the Town with the nearest point of the Taieri Navigation, a distance of about 14 miles, it will pass through the lower Kaikari which is free from hills, and within a short distance of the coal cliffs on Saddle Back, Hill, and it is so far advanced that drays are now passing to Green Island Bush, a distance of above five miles, and where the settlers are being located. One of our principal settlers W. H. Valpy, Esq., J. P., has availed himself of this line by running a branch from it, similarly constructed and at his own expense, from a point about half-a-mile beyond the end of Princes Street, and skirting the hills to the Ocean Beach, near which he is forming a Villa. This branch is about a mile long, and has opened an easy access to the public to a place of interesting relation. It is expected that the whole will be carried through during the ensuing summer; so that, in connection with the Taieri and the Waihola navigations, it will have opened up a large tract of country, and form the first link in the projected chain of communication between Otago Harbour and the Clutha.
It is to be observed that none of these dray roads being metalled, they are unfit or use during the nead of winter, but that they are sufficiently drained, thrown up and furnished with temporary bridges, to be economically useful at all other seasons and to be ready for such durable improvements, as future means may come to be effected.
A foot path five feet wide with a ditch on both sides, and bridged over two creeks has been thrown up, upon the wet meadows, leading round to Anderson's bay, where there are many settlers, and there is also communication by water from Andersons Bay and a cattle path by the sandhills skirting the Ocean Beach. -Wellington Independant, 22/9/1849.
Harvest Home. — On Friday last Mr. W. H. Valpy gave an entertainment to his immediate friends and workpeople, at his farm, near the Ocean Beach. A large and newly-erected storehouse was fitted up for the occasion, and about forty people sat down to a very substantial repast of roast beef and plum pudding in the old English style. Mr. Valpy afterwards proposed, in very flattering terms the health of Mr. Howden, his bailiff, who briefly responded. The Rev. T. Burns, in proposing the health of Mr. Valpy, remarked on the immense benefit which men of wealth and station confer on new colonies. The choice of Otago as a residence by Mr. Valpy might be considered as a special blessing, and he (Mr. B.) was glad to see evidence in the stacks adjoining of some reward for his spirited outlay. He then adverted to his own knowledge of agricultural pursuits in Scotland, as qualifying him in some measure to judge of such matters; and it was his opinion that the land in this settlement was well fitted to reward any toil and labour bestowed upon it. The party then adjourned for a short time; some strolling to the sea beach, others viewed the crops, or gained the adjacent hills to gaze on the vast panoramic view of earth and sea. After tea, which was served in the same room, Mr. Valpy introduced Mr. Fox, as a gentleman well conversant with New Zealand affairs, who was willing to oblige them with a short account of his experience. Mr. Fox commenced with glancing back to the time of the ancient Britons, and comparing it with the advantages possessed now-a-days by pioneers in new countries. He then alluded to the very peculiar advantages which the Otago settlers possessed over those of every other settlement in New Zealand. You have, said he, an average harbour, good agricultural land, and excellent pasturage. I have been to Auckland, Taranaki, Wellington, and Nelson, and I have no hesitation in saying, that any one of the settlers in these places would at one time have gladly exchanged for any part of the Otago block. You occupy the finest district in New Zealand, and I doubt not you will prosper accordingly, (tremendous cheering.) I have heard that some parties are spreading a report that the New Zealand Company will not continue operations after May next, and that we shall be left to our own resources. Now, supposing that they should not go on colonising, would not every Englishman and every Scotch man at home demand the attention of the Government to these islands, and the carrying out of all the promises which have been made by the Company to the colonists? New Zealand has become of too much importance for colonising purposes to be lightly passed by or forgotten. But I can say this will not be the case. From official correspondence and private letters, I feel certain in saying, that the New Zealand Company and the Association will continue their operations after July next with regard to the settlement of Otago (cheers). Shortly afterwards the company separated, highly delighted with a revival of the old country system of hospitality and greater intellectual enjoyment. -Nelson Examiner, 11/5/1850.
OTAGO. [From the Otago News.]
Saw and Flour Mill. — We have been much gratified with an inspection of Mr. Valpy's saw and flour mill, — the first erection of this kind in the district of Otago. It is picturesquely situated on the banks of the Water of Leith, with a sufficiency of water power for the present wants of our infant settlement; though the late fine weather has rendered it necessary to economise a little. The saw mill is in full operation, but the machinery of the flour mill is not complete. The great obstacle to supplying Dunedin with sawn timber at a cheap rate arises from the want of upright saws, and the inefficiency and unfitness of a circular saw for breaking up logs. This, we believe, will shortly be remedied. Roads, too, have to be made into the bush for the convenience of dragging the logs to the mill, which is performed by bullocks. The average of work executed per day does not at present exceed 400 or 500 feet. Great praise, however, is due to Mr. Valpy for his enterprise in carrying out what must have proved an expensive scheme for the public good, and equal praise is also due to the millwrights, Mr. James L. Brown, and Mr. James Adam, to whose untiring perseverance, amid difficulties of no ordinary kind, its ultimate success may be attributed.
The cargo of horses, cattle, and sheep, imported per Lady Clarke, has been sold in this market at prices which we have reason to know will prove highly satisfactory to Mr. Sidey, the importer. The cattle and sheep were bought up privately by a large stockholder, and the horses were exposed to public auction on Monday last, by Mr. McGlashan; the best strong draught mare bringing £25, the lowest figure being about £12. The general quality of the horses was that of unsuitableness for the heavy work of this country. Some of the Van Diemen's Land breed of draught horses would be an acquisition to the colony.
On the same day, twenty-five head of cows and heifers, in calf, belonging to the stock of Mr. J. Jones, of Waikouiti, met with a ready sale at prices varying from £11 to £16 each. -NZ Spectator, 29/5/1850.
William Valpy's wealth and judicial experience made him an integral part of Dunedin society and the first steps towards a family home, to be occupied by successive generations, was an occasion to celebrate.
We have much pleasure in announcing that the foundation stone of a house at the Forbury, the property of W. H. Valpy, Esq., was laid on the 14th ult. The design is extensive and commodious; and the work, as far as it has gone, does great credit to Mr. David Calder, the builder. The stone is the best yet found in the settlement, and is procured from a new quarry, opened by the proprietor, at Caversham. -Otago Witness, 8/3/1851.
The Valpy house, Hocken Library photo.
|In Caversham, a long-abandoned quarry. I can not be sure that it was the source of Valpy's building stone but can not be sure that it was not.|
|Face of the quarry. I am no expert on such things, but I have seen a similar texture before on stone faces worked with hand tools.|
On Thursday last we had the gratification of being present at Mr. Valpy's Harvest Home, at the Forbury, when a large party assembled to do justice to the hospitality and good cheer provided by the worthy host. A large tent was erected on a sheltered part of the grounds for the occasion; and under the canopy of two of the beautiful ferntrees so peculiar to New Zealand, spread their graceful foliage over the happy company.
After thanks returned by our esteemed clergyman to the bountiful giver of all good, Mr. Valpy rose and addressed the party in a neat and appropriate speech. He said —
I have great pleasure, my good friends, in greeting you with a hearty welcome to another Harvest Home at the Forbury. The abundant produce this year, while in one or two of the other settlements we hear there has been a partial failure of the crops, demands our gratitude to God who has crowned our efforts with success. Had it been otherwise in this early stage of agricultural engagement, how many of us would have been disheartened! But we have cause to rejoice and be thankful that it is not so; and I think we may now all be convinced of the capabilities of the soil, and the advantage of the climate, and what maybe effected by diligence and zeal, we have a good example in my bailiff Mr. Howden. Let us then, my friends, take courage. Let us all unite in a spirited endeavour to grapple with any little difficulties and disappointments we may meet with in the way; and surely at this early stage of our colonial career we must expect to encounter some difficulties. Let us one and all endeavour to raise our own supplies, and render ourselves independent of foreign markets; and then I think it will not be presumption to anticipate that, in a few years, this beautiful settlement will be placed at least on a par with the most flourishing colonies. But let us not forget that the battle is not to the strong, nor the race to the swift; — that we must ever look to the Lord of the Harvest who hath hitherto helped us, and who, we may trust, will continue to help us.
Mr. Valpy again rose and proposed the health of our gracious Sovereign the Queen. Drunk with great applause.
Rev. Mr. Burns said the toast he was about to propose the company, would, no doubt, anticipate, and readily appreciate. It was the health of Mr. Valpy. He did not wish to say before Mr. Valpy what he could more readily do were he absent. His kindly disposition and urbanity, and the good he had done to the settlement, all were aware of. Drunk with three times three.
Mr. Valpy then proposed the health of his bailiff, Mr. Howden. His stalkyard would testify to the excellent manner in which he managed his farming operations. Mr. Howden, in returning thanks, said he wished all to take an example by Mr. Valpy. They could not do better than go and do likewise.
Mr. McGlashan proposed the health of Mrs. Valpy. Received with great applause, with three cheers for the young ladies.
After which the party broke up, and dividing into parties, visited the fields and gardens; others the new dwelling house in course of erection, by Mr. D. Calder, for the worthy proprietor; the beautiful stone of which it is being built eliciting the admiration of all. Another party betook themselves to the Ocean Beach, and amused themselves in the interval betwixt dinner and tea with leaping, racing, and other manly exercises. After tea was served, Capt. Cargill addressed the party in some appropriate remarks and again wished Mr. Valpy long life and much happiness. The company then broke up, delighted with the entertainments of the day. Much has been said in the other settlements about the ill-feeling existing among the settlers. We would, however, point to this as an illustration, and ask if more cordial harmony, or a kinder and happy feeling could exist, than appeared among the large assemblage of all classes on this day? -Otago Witness, 5/4/1851.
On Tuesday, the 11th ultimo, W. H. Valpy, Esq., wound up the festivities of the season at the Forbury by feasting the young members of the community. About 90 children sat down to dinner, and did ample justice to the good cheer provided for them. The entertainment took place in the tent erected for the harvest-home, noticed in a former No., and the arrangements were made in the same tasty style. The wants of the little party were kindly ministered to by the Misses Valpy and their young friends, who appeared highly amused by the merry laugh and joyous countenances of their little guests, who strenuously exerted themselves to realise Punch's description of something like a holiday. After dinner the party adjourned to the Ocean Beach, to enjoy a ramble and frolic on the sands, the anticipated enjoyment of which had been the subject of conversation amongst the children for some weeks past. Tea was served in the evening, and after thanks returned by the Rev. T. Burns, Mr Valpy said: — My dear little girls and boys, I hope you will return to your studies with diligence, so that when you become men and women you will be an honor to the community, and I shall have additional satisfaction in seeing you here next year. 'Thank you , sir,' 'Thank you, sir,' was replied on all sides. The Rev. Thos. Burns then addressed the company in an appropriate speech, thanking Mr. Valpy on behalf of the children, and remarked that he had observed a great improvement in the school of late; and exhorted the children to be diligent and obedient, and reminded them it was time to leave. The day's entertainment then broke up, and Mr. Valpy's bullock-drays conveyed the little folks back to Dunedin, highly gratified with their holiday and the kindness of their host, full of the anticipation of a repetition next year.
We observed amongst the company Capt. Cargill, Rev. Thos. Burns, Mr. Cutten, Mr. Hepburn, and Mr. McKenzie. Mrs. Valpy was unfortunately from indisposition, and several ladies from the unsettled state of the weather, prevented from gracing the day with their presence. We have seldom seen so many mirthful faces: it must have been a very gratifying sight to the host, and we much regret that Mrs Valpy should have been prevented from sharing in that gratification.
We cannot pass over this occasion without remarking the excellent behaviour of the whole of the children, — decorous without restraint and their unassuming familiarity with our esteemed Minister as a worthy tribute to his paternal care. -Otago Witness, 3/5/1851.
Wiliam Valpy's life in Otago seemed set - that of a wealthy landowner and administrator of the law - nothing too strenuous, considering his health. But dark political clouds gathered over Wellington and William Valpy of Otago was to feel a change in climate...
Wiliam Valpy's life in Otago seemed set - that of a wealthy landowner and administrator of the law - nothing too strenuous, considering his health. But dark political clouds gathered over Wellington and William Valpy of Otago was to feel a change in climate...
On the 19th of this present month of May, a General Council of the islands of New Zealand is summoned to sit at Wellington. Of whom is this Council to be composed, and what measures will it be called upon to pass? are questions which people are beginning to ask of each other, and to which they seem desirous of obtaining some reply. We are unable, we regret, to furnish much information on these subjects, although the day of meeting is so close at hand; but we will state briefly what we know, and speculate a little on probabilities.
Of the members who will compose the Council, there will be, first, the Government staff, always pretty strong, but now recruited with some new hands. Then there will probably be the rump of the old Provincial Council — the valiant Triumvirate who have unflinchingly stood the buffets of the Colonial, and the insults of the Imperial powers, and who, by their spaniel-like fidelity to the hand that bestowed upon them senatorial honours and whipped them into tractability, have lately received from Sir George Grey that complete acknowledgement of their services in the elevation to the Bench of two of their number who had not previously been clothed with that dignity.
"How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits,
Honour or wealth, with all his worth and pains!
It seems like stories from the land of spirits
If any man obtain that which he merits
Or any merits that which he obtains."
Well, it was proper that the Governor should give the practical lie to those who charged him with neglecting his friends and rewarding his opponents — with giving a sop to the men he thought likely to be most troublesome to him, and neglecting those who had ever been ready to put on his livery at the first asking. Yet it must be confessed his Excellency was singularly successful in a few bold strokes made in that line; but it was too dangerous a game to be long pursued, so the other and more natural one is now tried — that of rewarding those only whose services have been faithful; and this will be cheering to all whose mouths are watering for the good things which lie at his Excellency's disposal, and was especially necessary at a moment when Sir George was throwing his springles abroad to catch fresh paws with which to roast his chestnuts.
Next, then, there will be the new men, to be picked up wherever they can be got. At Wellington, the baited hook has been thrown to Mr. Clifford and Captain Smith; at Otago, to Mr. Valpy; at Canterbury, to Mr. Deans and Mr. Tancred; at Taranaki, to Mr. Cutfield; and at Nelson, to Mr. Greenwood. We have not heard the names of those who are to be honoured by Sir George Grey's notice at Auckland, but we have been told that he is not likely to find there any gudgeons that will suit his purpose. Whether any of the gentlemen from the other settlements, whose names we have given, will accept the invitation to sit in the General Council, we have no means of knowing; but the Lyttelton Times, in a spirited article, calls on the Canterbury settlers not to he so "unmindful of what they owe to themselves, to their fellow-settlers, and to New Zealand at large, as to sanction by their presence the continuance, for a single hour, of the present form of Government in this colony." In Nelson, the only invitation given has been that to Mr. Greenwood. Why this gentleman alone should have been selected for the honour to the exclusion of the other members of the late Council, and those very warm supporters of his Excellency in this settlement who exerted themselves of late so greatly in his behalf, passes our powers of conjecture, and will be all more puzzling to understand if it should prove that there has been given to settlements numbering only half our population double the number of members. But passing over for the present such considerations as these, we congratulate our fellow settlers on the prospect that, whatever may be the conduct of the colonists north or south, Nelson at least will not be insulted by the mockery of having an apparent voice in Sir George Grey's Nominee Council; for the gentleman to whom a seat has been offered, though accompanied with a most plausible and pressing request from his Excellency that it should be accepted, has spurned it with contempt. How we regret that it should ever have been otherwise — that men of station and character should once have suffered themselves to be bamboozled and won over by honied words to lend themselves to fight an enemy's game — and how deep must have been their mortification on finding the manner in which they were treated, and the humiliating position in which they found themselves placed. But as the "scalded dog shuns the fire," so does Mr. Greenwood resolve not a second time to get into the meshes of Nomineeism; and we most cordially commend him for his wisdom.
It appears, then, that Sir George's honours are likely to go a-begging a second time. How is this, after the dining, and feting, and bepraising, which his Excellency so lately had bestowed upon him? We do not feel bound to answer this question, but would rather leave it to those who "threw their caps as they would hang them on the horns o' the moon," when his Excellency was lately amongst us, and who then affected to believe that Sir George Grey was the very paragon of wisdom. Is this summoning of the Council, and hatching a new batch of Nominees, not quite acceptable to the friends of Sir George? There must be something about it not quite to their tastes.
Since his Excellency's visit to Nelson, we have been studiously silent upon his acts. Some things, it is true, we have felt inclined to comment upon, as for instance his extraordinary remission of the import duties to the Canterbury settlers on the goods brought by them from England — a most unjust as well as illegal act of favouritism, which was less called for in the instance where it was exercised than in the founding of any other settlement in New Zealand, and when those in whose favour the boon was conceded had not a tithe of the claim for such a consideration as the early Nelson settlers had, who left England ignorant of the establishment of Customs', duties in the colony, but had yet to pay these duties at Wellington, before their voyage had terminated and its risks were at an end. This was a positive hardship, if not an act of injustice. The Canterbury settlers, on the contrary, had no special claims for consideration; the present rate of duties had been long in force, and must have been known to them before leaving England; and had been paid without exception by all colonists who had immigrated since their establishment: nor at Canterbury did the position and prospects of the place warrant any departure from the customary revenue exactions. But on this and other topics which at times we have felt disposed to comment upon, we have abstained noticing, being tired of continually carping at his Excellency's acts, and being desirous of seeing whether late events would effect any change in the Governor's policy or conduct.
Of the measures which this Council will be called upon to pass, we know nothing beyond the proposed Provincial Councils' Ordinance, and the Bill to determine conflicting Claims to Land, printed by us on the 12th of April last. To these however may be added the Estimates, and an Appropriation Bill, although, as the law stands, we believe these are matters not at all within the province of a General Council, but belong exclusively to the Provincial Councils. The Governor, however, who evidently looks on such things as mere matters of form, but yet necessary to be gone through, will, to avoid scandal, do again as he did at the last sitting of the Council at Auckland, and usurp a power not sanctioned by his own Ordinances, and make his General Council, composed of as many officials as he pleases, pass Estimates which should be sanctioned by Councils composed of two-thirds of non-official members. Another most unconstitutional act his Excellency may probably perform, for which also he has a precedent in his proceedings on the same occasion, is to make the Appropriation Act extend to two years instead of limiting it to one. Really, one hardly knows whether most to be angry or amused at the farce which legislation has become here. Better, ten thousand times better, be honest and avow that the colony is ruled solely by the will of the Queen's Representative, than deal in these solemn shams, which, if they impose upon fools, are wholly lost on men of discernment.
The Provincial Councils' Bill has already been so fully discussed in this settlement, that little need now be said of it. Standing by itself, it has met with the most complete condemnation any measure ever received, and will be tolerated only because something else has been promised which will render its provisions of no importance; as the first sitting of the General Council composed wholly of elective members (which Sir George Grey assured us a few weeks since, when in Nelson, was the Constitution he expected would this year be given us by the British Parliament), would convert this precious piece of quackery of Provincial legislation into a good system of municipal or district government. Supposing then that the Governor spoke in good faith, we care little about this Provincial scheme. Give the colony a broad system of representation to the real governing houses, constituted as his Excellency has led us to believe they will be, and we shall then be receive such a Constitution as a boon, and be content to see the colonists mould it into more perfect shapeliness with their own hands. -Nelson Examiner, 10/5/1851.
By the Scotia, which arrived from Otago on Wednesday last, we are gratified to learn that our fellow Colonists there seem at last to have awakened to something like a knowledge of their political interests.
On the 9th inst., it became generally known in Dunedin that Mr. Valpy had been invited by Sir George Grey, to take a Seat in the Nominee General Council, as the representative of the Otago Settlement. The next day measures were taken to call a public meeting for the purpose of requesting him to decline acceding to his Excellency's request, in order that there might not be the shadow of a pretence for saying that the Otago Settlers were represented in such a mockery of a Council. A clique of Government officers actual and expectant, displayed great activity in getting up a counter movement, and in obtaining signatures to a memorial which they hawked about, praying Mr. Valpy to become a Nominee, thus trying to prejudge the question before it had been discussed by the Settlers in public meeting assembled. Many persons, we are informed, signed this official document, under the impression that the parties convening the meeting were personally opposed to Mr. Valpy who is very much respected by all classes. The Meeting took place on the 13th inst., and was attended by three or four hundred persons. Mr.Cargil J.P., having been moved into the chair by J. Macandrew Esq. J. P. and J. Jones Esq., a series of Resolutions in accordance with the object of the meeting were passed by overwhelming majorities, in spite of the determined opposition of the Government Clique, who attempted to make up for the smallness of its numbers by making all kinds of disturbances. All the speakers while warmly advocating Representative Institutions disclaimed the slightest intention of personal disrespect either to Mr. Valpy or the Governor. An intelligent Mechanic of the name of Langlands made a powerful impression by describing the false impression under which he had signed the official memorial, and by expressing his gratitude for having been enlightened by the discussion that had taken place. We have been unable to obtain a copy of the Resolutions, but we understand they were all based upon the previously recorded opinions of the settlers in favour of a Representative Local Council, and were strongly Condemnatory of the mockery offered in the shape of the present Nominee General Council. It was intended to postpone the fortnightly publication of the Otago Witness, for a few days in order to afford time for a full report of the proceedings. After the meeting a dinner took place, to which twenty two Gentlemen sat down, J. Jones Esq., in the chair, and to this Mr. Langlands was invited as a guest as an expression of admiration for his honesty in coming forward and exposing the unfair manoeuvres resorted to by the Government party to obtain signatures to their Memorial. We shall look forward to the next number of Otago Witness, with considerable anxiety and interest. The settlers in every Settlement have now spoken out manfully, and declared their fixed determination to have nothing whatever to say or do with Nominee Councils. -WI, 24/5/1851.
The following is a long passage, indicative of the lengthy speechifying of public figures at public meetings of those days. The reader may find it too long to read, so here is a very brief summary:
The Otago colonists have learned that Mr Valpy has been offered, by the Governer Sir George Grey, an appointment as their representative.
The Otago Colonists would be happy to have Mr Valpy as their representative, as they feel for him nothing but respect and affection.
The Otago colonists, however, feel that an appointed representative would be no true one, as he would have no mandate from them, the Otago colonists.
While such phrases as "it is the opinion of this Meeting, that it is more to the advantage of this Settlement that one of the Members of Council be a person deeply interested in its prosperity," are far from evoking the image of a long-haired and anachronistically dressed Mel Gibson bellowing "Freedom!" towards ranks of Englishmen carrying various pieces of sharpened metal, the essence of the meeting was doubtless for some a continuation of their political struggle as free men of a Free Church, able to elect their religious representatives and scorning the idea that the same right should be denied them in the sphere of worldly government.
A Public Meeting was held in the Schoolhouse, Dunedin, on Tuesday evening, 13th inst., at six o'clock, p.m., in terms of a Requisition signed by 46 inhabitants of Dunedin. On the motion of Mr. James Macandrew Captain Cargill was called to the Chair. The following Requisition calling the Meeting having been read: —
A Public Meeting is hereby requested to assemble in the Schoolhouse of Dunedin, on Tuesday evening, the 13th inst., at 6 o'clock, P.M., for the purpose of requesting William Henry Valpy, Esq., not to accept his nomination to be Member of the Legislative Council of New Zealand; it being inconsistent with the feelings and principles of the Otago settlers, as unanimously expressed in their Resolutions at the public meeting of the 3rd December last, to have anything to do with an exclusively Nominee Council, or that they should have the REMOTEST APPEARANCE of being represented without their ACTUALLY being so. Here follow the Signatures.
The Chairman begged to state at the outset his conviction that every one present would concur with him in the expression of the highest respect and esteem for the gentleman referred to in the Requisition; and that there was not a man in the colony who would not delight in shewing honor to Mr. Valpy. (Applause.) The Chairman then stated: — It was not my intention to have taken any part whatever in the present meeting; but about half an hour since a letter was put into my hands which has overruled every objection, and compelled me, under a sense of duty, to yield to its demand. He then read the following letter:—
To Captain Cargill.
SIR, — With reference to the Meeting to he held this evening in the Schoolhouse, we, the Undersigned, considering that the subject thereof is one which deeply affects the interests of the Colony, beg respectfully to request that you, as leader of the Settlers and founder of the Settlement, and as representing the Otago Association, will occupy the Chair at said Meeting.
Here follow 19 Signatures.
Under all the circumstances in which I am placed, I shall abstain from any remark or explanation whatever on the subject to be introduced. I am here for the sole purpose of maintaining regularity, and securing a full and candid hearing for any man who may wish to address you; and in which I feel confident the Chair will be duly supported; and farther, that you will come to a dispassionate and rational conclusion upon the subjects to be proposed. From the paper put into my hands, I beg to call upon
Mr. Napier, who said: — I think it will be almost unnecessary for for me to say a word on this subject. It is one which speaks for itself. You have all no doubt a clear recollection of the meeting which took place on the 3rd Dec, 1850, and the resolutions which were then so unanimously passed. Allow me to say that I think we should prove ourselves guilty of a great piece of inconsistency were we, after such meeting, to sanction or countenance in any way the adoption of a system so diametrically opposed to the nature of those resolutions, as that of Nominee Representation; and I would fain hope that they who expressed their opinions so decidedly on that occasion, will do so on this. The question about to be discussed — and fairly, I hope — is one you will all agree of vital importance to this settlement. It is a subject which should urge upon every thinking individual the necessity of looking closely into, examining and judging for himself, and of coming boldly forward, unbiased in any way, and uninfluenced by any circumstance or position of whatever kind, and expressing those sentiments and feelings which, after a calm and deliberate consideration of the subject, most naturally suggest themselves to his mind. The present is an eventful era in the history of this still infant settlement, and I trust it may prove a bright — a glorious one. However widely different the views on the subject of New Zealand Government, and whatever the various opinions on this allimportant point may be, I hope the course to be followed, the system fixed upon, will be such as will ensure the happiness and prosperity, not only of this particular settlement, but of New Zealand at large. Let me urge upon you, therefore, not to allow any personal motives to interfere with the duty which every settler in the place owes to the other in thoroughly investigating a subject which so nearly concerns us all; and although at the time of the last meeting nothing had occurred which might have prevented some from expressing themselves as they did on that occasion, I trust our present position in reference to one who cannot but demand our admiration and esteem, will not prevent us from speaking our minds and judging impartially betwixt those two systems by which we must either stand or fall. He then moved: —
'That the Colonists of Otago have already recorded their opinion in favor of Legislation for their political wants, by means of a Council sitting on the spot, at least two-thirds of which should consist of Members elected by them.'
Seconded by Mr. Bain.
Mr. Robison addressed the meeting to the following effect: — He said he had observed that the purpose of the meeting was to request Mr. Valpy not to accept his nomination, as his so doing would be inconsistent with the wishes and feelings of the settlers, as expressed at the meeting held on the 3rd Dec. last. He regretted that the conveners of the meeting now assembled had plunged at once into the abstract question of the benefit arising from a Representative Government, in which all agreed, instead of considering what was best to be done under the present system. That the Otago settlers at least had received nothing but the firmest support and assistance from the Government; and that it would be bad policy on their part to attempt to thwart it by untimely resistance, when Sir G. Grey had only a very short time before given them his Provincial Legislative Council Bill to discuss, and with but very slight modifications it had received the unanimous approval of the whole body of settlers; that the Council as at present formed was beyond their control, and even that of Sir G. Grey; that Sir G. Grey's Reformed Constitution could not come into force until sanctioned both by the Home Government, and further, by the Nominee Council in New Zealand as at present constituted; and that, therefore it was desirable the Nominee from this place should be present to watch over and be ready to support the interests of the Otago settlers, when the Constitution should come to be discussed. In addition to the foregoing, the business to be gone through by the existing Legislative Council was of an unusually important nature, and comprised questions of vital interest to the Otago settlers; that the substitute, in case of Mr. Valpy's refusal, likely to be made at the eleventh hour by the Government, would, in all probability, be some one at Wellington totally ignorant of and indifferent to their wishes, possibly hostile to the success of this particular settlement from already elsewhere directed interests; that whatever violent means they should adopt, they could not for a moment delay the sitting of the Council, nor hasten the introduction of Representative Institutions; their opposition would only tend to embarrass and retard its operations, and lessen its usefulness. He then proceeded to state that they would not now be stultifying their decision of the 3rd Dec. last, that meeting only having reference to a prospective Bill, not yet in operation, and the existing state of affairs being foreign to the business of that meeting. He concluded by remarking that Mr. Valpy possessed the entire confidence of the settlers, and that Government from this selection proved the wisdom of its choice, and its desire to accord with the wishes of the inhabitants as far as possible. He proposed the following amendment: —
'As under the present constitution of New Zealand the Members of the Legislative Council must be nominated by the Governor-in-Chief, it is the opinion of this Meeting, that it is more to the advantage of this Settlement that one of the Members of Council be a person deeply interested in its prosperity, and nominated from this Settlement, than that the place should be filled by a stranger who could not have the same interest in watching over any proceedings of the Council affecting the general welfare, which would undoubtedly be done, should Mr. Valpy decline to accept his nomination; therefore he be requested to allow nothing to interfere with his being present and taking a part in the proceedings of the Council.'
Seconded by Mr. Kettle, who rose amidst a volley of hisses and made a few remarks, repeating the arguments of the previous speaker. This was the only expression of personal feeling displayed against any of the speakers throughout the evening.
Mr. Cutten begged to remark that Mr. Robison's arguments did not apply to the subject before the meeting; that the amendment was not an appropriate amendment to Mr. Napier's resolution; for that Mr. Napier's motion merely resolved that a certain act was done on a certain day, whereas the amendment went into detail of the whole subject to be brought before the meeting; and he (Mr. Cutten) suggested that the amendment should be withdrawn, and the first resolution allowed to pass unnoticed. The amendment could be moved at a further stage of the proceedings, as a resolution was to be proposed to the meeting to which Mr. Robison's amendment would be a decided negative. This course having been declined, Mr. Cutten proceeded to urge the meeting to reject the amendment, the effect of which, if carried, would be to close the proceedings of the meeting without the matter being fully discussed. That every person would agree with the Chairman and Mr. Robison in bearing testimony to the excellent qualities of Mr. Valpy as a colonist; but that was not the question they had come there to discuss; it was not a personal question, but a question of principle — (cheers) — whether they should by their silence or assent allow Mr. Valpy to proceed to Wellington with the appearance of being their Representative, without his actually being so. (Cheers.)
Mr. Macandrew followed on the same side,
The amendment was then put, and rejected by a very large majority. Several voters for the amendment appearing to doubt the state of the vote, Mr. Macandrew proposed a regular division, which was not accepted. The resolution being put by shew of hands, was announced to be carried by an overwhelming majority. Mr. Lloyd, in the midst of much confusion, proposed (in lieu of a regular division) a separation of the voters. The meeting proceeded to divide in this way, the voters for the resolution passing to the right of the house, their opponents to the left. This being quickly and facetiously done, the two parties stood for some time in ludicrous and mirthful attitudes, cheering and laughing at each other; those on the right being about 300 in number, those on the left about 50. The shew of hands being again called, 35 hands only were held up against the resolution, which was then carried.
Mr. James Macandrew proposed the next resolution, and expressed his hope that the meeting would consider the subject which had brought them together with the calm deliberation of intelligent men; and that they would shew that, by governing themselves, they were fitted for the self-government which they conceived themselves entitled to. He disclaimed being actuated by any desire to embarrass the Government, or to oppose Mr. Valpy, towards whom he entertained the highest respect. Mr. Valpy, from his position and standing in the settlement, from his extensive employment of labor, and as a high-minded and Christian gentleman, was entitled to the regard of every one present; but he (Mr. Macandrew) did entreat, that the meeting would not allow any feelings of respect towards an individual, however worthy, or any feelings of delicacy towards the Government, to deter them from asserting a great principle, and vindicating their rights as free men — men born in a free country — men who had left the land of their fathers in the full confidence, and with every assurance, that they were to live under and enjoy the privileges of the representative and responsible government, for which their forefathers had so nobly struggled. If asked to choose a Representative for the Legislative Council, Mr. Valpy would be the man for whom he would vote, — that is, after having ascertained his opinion on certain very important points, — but he could not for a moment think of standing silently by and seeing Mr. Valpy, or anybody else, going to Wellington in the character of his representative, when he the represented had no say in the matter. Trusting that the meeting would take the same view of the subject, Mr. Macandrew concluded by proposing the resolution, which had been put into his hands: —
'That it is essential that there should be no pretence for supposing that those political wants can be represented in a Council sitting at Wellington, composed entirely of official and Nominee Members, by any person whom the Governor-in-Chief may select without consulting the Colonists.'
Mr. William Stevenson, in seconding Mr. Macandrew's motion, briefly stated his concurrence in the observations which he had made. He had no objection to Mr. Valpy's nomination as far as his personal feelings were concerned; but he looked upon the subject as a matter of principle.
The resolution was put from the Chair, and carried by a large majority.
Mr. E. J. Wakefield, — Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, it is quite necessary that I should give my reasons for venturing to address the inhabitants of the Otago settlement, in which I am not a resident myself. In the first place, a resolution has been put into my hands, and I have been requested to support its substance by some of the inhabitants themselves, whom I consider entitled to some consideration on account of their station and influence in the place. Secondly, that part of the subject now under discussion which is contained in this resolution applies to the other settlements as well as this one, and relates to a matter of the strongest interest to every New Zealand colonist. And I hardly consider any person to be a good colonist, who does not form a decided opinion one way or the other, and maintain it publicly, on subjects of vital importance to the whole colony. For my part, it is not with any wish to boast that I tell you it is now twelve years since I first took a part in the colonisation of New Zealand; that I have had some share in the founding of every settlement within this province; that I have during the whole of that time had scarcely any other subject than New Zealand earnestly at heart; and that I hope some day to lay my bones in some part of the country. (Cheers.) A gentleman residing here has been summoned to take a part in the deliberations of the General Legislative Council, which is to make laws for the whole of New Zealand. The same process as this is probably going on in the other settlements; they are expressing their opinion as to how far Nominees can represent them. The opinion of this settlement will, ere long, be compared with those of the others. It behoves you to express it, one way or the other, decidedly enough not to be mistaken. (Cheers.) I will read the resolution which has been put into my hands:—
'That the Governor-in-Chief is able to enact laws without supporting them by the mockery of Representatives from the different settlements, and that His Excellency's legislation will be more effective and worthy of respect, if acknowledged to be, as it actually is, his own work, than if put forth as the joint work of himself and pretended Representatives of the Colonists. That the Nominees to the General Legislative Council of New Zealand have no opportunity of consulting the Colonists as to whether they can fully and conscientiously represent the requirements of those Colonists in that Council; and that they are therefore placed in a false position by the acceptance of such an office. '
I must strongly disclaim any intention of disrespect to His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, or to any other officer of that Queen, for whom, whatever may be our different opinions as to the exact form of government best suited for us, I am sure that we have all preserved the most fervent loyalty and attachment. (Loud cheers.) I must also disclaim any intention of shewing the slightest disrespect to Mr. Valpy. It is hardly necessary for me to dwell on that gentleman's excellent qualities. I can only say that, although I have not enjoyed so many, or so good, opportunities as many of you of becoming acquainted with him, that I agree to the utmost extent with everything that has been said in his favor by former speakers, and that no one can respect and esteem him more than myself. (Loud cheers.) I am as ready as any one to allow that Sir George Grey has done a good deal for New Zealand. He is exceedingly prompt in administrative details; and he is rapid to meet an emergency, even though he may not always do so in the manner most satisfactory to the majority of the colonists. (Cheers and murmurs.) Add to this, His Excellency possesses great personal amiability of character, and a most winning manner. (Cheers and laughter.) And I would also point out that Mr. Valpy has one especial claim to your gratitude and respect, in his undeviating allegiance to the 'class' principle of the settlement. He has, at least, never in the slightest degree opposed it. (Cheers.) But all this is not the question. My opinion would be the same if His Excellency were the most perfect Governor that ever sailed from England in a frigate, and if Mr. Valpy had already been tried, and found to be a most perfect Representative. My opinion would be no stronger than it is if His Excellency were the most foolish and tyrannical Governor that ever was sent to torment colonists, and if Mr. Valpy had proved to be entirely unfit to be your own free choice. It is, in fact not a personal question at all; and the characters of Sir George Grey and Mr. Valpy have nothing to do with it. But the real question is this. Men who have been born and bred under Anglo Saxon institutions are particularly attached to one thing, namely: — the making of laws by the real Representatives of those who pay the taxes. You yourselves are attached to that principle: you have not been long enough away from the old country to forget your love for it. Moreover, those of you at least who are members of the congregation of the Free Church are trained to similar institutions in your present Church discipline. You have there a very complete and efficient system of local self government; and it is found to work admirably. (Murmurs.) You have recently elected 22 office-bearers with perfect harmony and quiet; so quietly, indeed, that strangers would hardly know that such an election had taken place. I say, then, you must be attached to these representative institutions and just in proportion, to the attachment which men bear them, do they object to anything like a mockery of representation. For my part, I confess that I share in the firmest attachment to the reality, and also agree in the strongest objections to the mockery. I therefore call upon all who have preserved their attachment to those revered and loved institutions of the land of their fathers, to express that attachment now. (Cheers.) If you can patiently bear with me, I will try and shew, briefly, that not only this Council, but all which, like it, consist of only officials and Nominees, are a mere mockery of representative law-making. In the first place, Nominees cannot consult the Colonists; and, therefore, cannot represent their opinions. How will Mr. Valpy, if he goes to Wellington to-morrow, know what are your feelings on the matters he is to help in discussing? I will tell you whose opinions the Nominees represent: — those of His Excellency who selects them. Secondly, they have no power to carry measures, or to prevent the carrying of measures to which they may object. Supposing Mr. Valpy to be thoroughly able and willing to represent your opinions, he would be powerless to obtain effect for them. The measures are proposed without time to consider them. Even those mentioned by Mr. Robison as having been published in the Gazette have only been known here at all within the last week or two, by those who have access to the Government Gazette. And these are only the measures which Sir George Grey chooses to publish beforehand. There maybe many others, of even greater importance. There is sure to be one — a Money Bill; a law to enable the taxes to be collected. And that is, in fact, the principal object of this meeting of the Council. The Provincial Council of New Munster can no longer be worked: the Governor's watch will not go. (Cheers.) It was necessary that a certain number of nonofficial members, or Nominees, should sit in that Council, in order to make its acts legal. But, with the exception of one member on his way to England, they all, for various reasons, resigned. No others could be found. The Money Bills passed by them have nearly, I believe expired; and it became absolutely necessary to pass new ones in some way. That is why the General Legislative Council of New Zealand, which used to sit at Auckland, has been summoned now to sit at Wellington and make laws, for the making of which the former machinery was gone. Now this Council consists of four Government officers, namely — the Governor-in-Chief, the Colonial Secretary, the Attorney-General, and the Colonial Treasurer, of New Zealand, and of the three Senior Magistrates on any general Commission of the Peace, — that is, the three Senior Magistrates on either the Commission of this Province, or that of the Northern Province. After them, the Governor-in-Chief can name any one he likes. But there was, some years ago, a curious way of working the list of Magistrates, — taking them from the top, and putting them at the bottom; for the Governor can of course take any name off the Commission. In this case, I don't know whether Mr. Valpy is summoned as one of the Senior Magistrates, or as one of those whom His Excellency likes afterwards. It is at any rate certain that Mr. Valpy is not the Senior Magistrate in this settlement; for the first four appointed were Capt. Cargill, Mr. Lee, Mr. Kettle, and Mr. Garrick. It is possible, certainly, that some of the Magistrates have refused; that is not an uncommon case; and these gentlemen are not bound to tell us whether they have been asked, or what is their answer. So it is just possible, that Mr. Valpy is one of the Senior Magistrates who have not refused the honor. (Cheers.) I have said that all the Nominees in the defunct Provincial Council resigned their seats. Some did so because the Council had not assembled at the right time, and they had not been told why. (Laughter.) But three of them resigned in a body when I was at Wellington in August last, because they thought themselves degraded by a rap on the knuckles from Lord Grey. He wrote as follows to the Governor-in-Chief about the Civil List. I read from the Government Gazette of 5th August, 1850: —
'The Instructions provide that the Civil List so appropriated shall be applied as the Lords of the Treasury shall direct. — It is obvious that this provision will only become of real importance when a popular Legislature shall be created to which the power of controlling the whole public expenditure, except that portion reserved as a Civil List, will be entrusted. In the meantime while the whole Colonial Revenue is appropriated by yourself with the aid of a Legislature nominated by the Crown and acting under the directions of Her Majesty's Government, with respect to the salaries to be assigned to the various public servants in the Colony, it is practically immaterial which of these salaries are nominally charges upon the Civil List under the Lords Commissioners of Treasury.'
The fact is, after all, this was no rap on the knuckles; but it was honestly shewing the Nominees their true position. The settlers had often told them the same thing: but Lord Grey was the first official who told them without concealment that they were powerless. (Cheers ) There will be very likely no members in this Council representing the other settlements; for a great number of Colonists there, including most of those distinguished by talents, property, and independence, have repeatedly refused the honor of a Nomineeship. But, as the Governor-in-Chief must obtain his complement somewhere, it is exceedingly probable that there may be some members in it not entirely actuated by public spirit. Thus the Representative of Otago, even if he be the best Representative the people could obtain, and well acquainted with all their wants, will be in a minority. But whether fit or not, he is sure to be put forth as your real Representative. (A voice, 'so he is.') I can only say that Mr. Valpy has not yet been elected by you, and therefore can hardly be called your Representative. (Cheers.) And then, it will be said, that all he does, and all he says, is by the wish of the Otago colonists. And if, whether from ignorance of your wants, — for he has had no opportunity of ascertaining them, — or from a conscientious difference of opinion, — since it is quite possible that his opinions and yours may be utterly at variance on some important subjects,— if, I say, on either of these accounts he does support something quite against your will, what can you say on his return, when the mischief, if you think it so, shall have been done? He is not responsible to you, but to the Governor who appoints, and who can dismiss him. (Cheers.) He may very fairly say to you, 'Gentlemen, I did not ask for your opinions, I was not bound to support them.' (Cheers.) But at any rate, depend upon it His Excellency will pass what laws he likes through the Council, whether Mr. Valpy likes it or not; whether Mr. Valpy in supporting your interests opposes the Governor, or sacrifices your interests in supporting him. (Murmurs and cheers.) I do not mean to say that Mr. Valpy will take either of these courses: he may sit still and do nothing. (Murmurs and laughter.) He may find himself in a very perplexing situation in the Council. Some measure may be proposed, in regard to which he feels that he is ignorant of the opinions of the Otago Colonists; and in such a case I maintain that a conscientious man would sit still and do nothing. (Cheers.) The Governor will then, I say, at any rate pass what laws he likes; and you must obey them; and you will do so, whatever they may be; because, notwithstanding your opinion that you ought as at home to have a voice in making your own laws, you are still of that loyal and law-respecting race which has extended round the world those peculiar and admirable qualities. (Cheers.) In the same way, if the laws passed be satisfactory, you will hardly have Mr. Valpy to thank; your thanks will be due to Sir George Grey as before; who will profess to consult the so-called Representative of Otago, and then — do just as he would if there were none in the Council. (Cheers, mixed with disapprobation.) I would again draw your attention to what is now going on in the other settlements. At Nelson the inhabitants, after long consideration, held a numerous assembly, which lasted for thirteen hours; during the whole of which time they calmly, carefully, and deliberately discussed the laws under which they wished to live. At Wellington the same kind of thing occurred; and at both those places an elaborate report was drawn up of the system of Local Self-Government desired by the great majority of the Colonists. At Canterbury, the newly arrived Colonists have hardly got roofs over their heads; but depend upon it they will lose no time in considering those dear rights and liberties which they did not wish to leave behind them. I would point out to you how earnestly the Wellington and Nelson people have considered the subject. At Nelson, during the thirteen hours, scarcely any angry word or noisy interruption was intruded: they did not, in disputing over so vital a matter, excite laughter by the schoolboys. (Cheers.) And you, too, when you have had out the short laugh which these useless ebullitions provoke, will do like your fellow-colonists; you will calmly sit down and deliberate upon the kind of constitution under which you desire yourselves, and your children, and your grandchildren to live. (Loud cheers.) And do not fear but that your wishes will in the end prevail. A powerful Association of Members of Parliament and others, — the Colonial Reform Society, — is daily receiving important accessions to its numbers, and energetically fighting your battle at home. (Cheers. ) At this very time the principle to which they have pledged themselves is being supported by them in Parliament. That principle is, that Colonists have the same right as those who remain at home to manage their own local affairs themselves, and as far as possible in their own way. (Loud cheers.) I call upon you to respond to their efforts. I appeal to you not to countenance a great 'sham.' Let the Governor make laws, and let us obey them; but let it be well understood that they are made by His Excellency, and not by any persons who can fairly be called the Representatives of the voice of the colonists. (Loud cheers, mingled with some disapprobation.)
Seconded by Capt. Blackie.
Resolution put and carried, the minority decreasing at each resolution.
Mr. Cutten being called upon by the Chair, said: — In rising to propose the resolution in my hands, I need hardly say anything in favor of Mr Valpy personally, to whose excellent qualities every speaker had borne testimony; and I doubt not he would have been called on as our Representative had we had the power of electing. In calling this meeting, therefore, we are only doing justice to that gentleman in letting him know what are the wishes of the community, if, under existing circumstances, he should accept a seat in the Legislative Council as the Governor's Nominee, from his high station amongst us he would have the appearance of being our Representative, without actually being so. The idea that we are obstructing the Governor by inducing Mr. Valpy not to accept his seat in the Council is erroneous. The Governor can carry any measure in defiance of his opinions if he do go; if he do not, it will make no difference. Sir George Grey can nominate any person he pleases who would suit his purpose as well, and which would have the advantage not give us the appearance of being represented. Now, gentlemen, were Mr. Valpy to proceeded to the Council without our expressing our opinions, we should allow him to fall into a false position, his attendance being useless. And although Mr. Valpy may have possessed the entire confidence of the settler's hitherto; shoud he accept his nomination contrary to their wishes, he might find on his return that he no longer possessed their confidence. As I said before, I need not enlarge on the good he has done, but will conclude by reading the motion placed in my hands:—
'That the Colonists of Otago entertain a high opinion of the integrity, benevolence, and zeal for local interests evinced by William Henry Valpy, Esq., and also great respect for the manner in which he has discharged the duties devolving upon him in consequence of his social station and large property in the Settlement, they would therefore earnestly entreat that gentleman not to accept the false position which he will fall into if, as a mere Nominee of the Governor-in-Chief, he should be put forth as the Representative of the Otago Colonists in the Legislative Council of New Zealand.'
Seconded by Mr. Healey.
Mr. Lloyd rose and moved the following amendment (we were unable to hear his remarks), which was seconded by Mr. Barr: —
'That this meeting desires to express their perfect confidence in Mr. Valpy as a Member of Council, feeling assured that he will be guided and influenced by principles of honor and integrity, and that any measure he may sanction will be for the benefit of the community; and that he be requested to allow nothing to interfere with his accepting the office.'
The Chairman remarked that this amendment was nearly the same as Mr. Robison's which had been rejected; he would however, if required, put it to the meeting. He then read the two amendments together.
Mr. Lloyd made some angry remarks which were inaudible.
The amendment was put and lost.
Mr. Langlands said: — Before the resolution was put to the meeting, he wished to make a few observations. He meant to give his support to that resolution, which, without an explanation, would doubtless be considered an inconsistency. Yesterday a paper was sent round to the inhabitants for signature, purporting to be in favor of Mr. Valpy's representing this settlement in the Legislative Council of New Zealand. He (Mr. Langlands) had but lately come hither, and was unacquainted with the nature of the Government arrangements for the colony, but deemed it a full and just system of representation; and besides actuated by feelings of the highest respect for Mr. Valpy, and believing him qualified for the position of Representative for Otago, he had signed that document. Subsequent enquiries, however, had convinced him that, according to the present system, it was impossible there could be any proper representation made of us in the Legislative Council, and he therefore would support the resolution, notwithstanding having attached his name to that paper. Further, he (Mr. Langlands) was confident that there were not a few who having signed that document in similar circumstances with himself, were equally desirous of withdrawing from it; and thought with a previous speaker, that the Chairman ought to afford them an opportunity of expressing themselves.
Much noise and confusion followed Mr. Langlands's remarks. The resolution was put, and carried by a large majority. Thanks were voted to the Chairman, and the meeting separated. -Otago Witness, 24/5/1850.
I should make it clear at this point that I have not seen any indication of Henry Valpy accepting Sir George Grey's offer. That point, however, seems to have been forgotten in the ensuing debate carried by the Otago Witness - a newspaper under the editorship of Captain William Cargill.
I should make it clear at this point that I have not seen any indication of Henry Valpy accepting Sir George Grey's offer. That point, however, seems to have been forgotten in the ensuing debate carried by the Otago Witness - a newspaper under the editorship of Captain William Cargill.
Mr. James Macandrew,
The Committees of Resolutionists Reply to Mr, Valpy,
and William Cargill, in our next.
The lines by Anon are hardly up to the standard we desire to see in the columns of our Journal. We do not wish to discourage the apparently juvenile contributor of those lines, but recommend him to persevere in his efforts.
*** All Communications must be sent in on or before Wednesday previous to publication.
No Communication will receive any attention unless accompanied with the name and address of the author, not necessarily for publication, but as evidence of his good faith. -OW, 24/5/1851.
We are happy to announce that Mr. Valpy has complied with the request of his fellow settlers at Otago, and declined the seat offered him in the Nominee General Council. Up to this date Captain Smith is the only one of the Senior Magistrates who has been weak enough to yield to his Excellency's solicitations, and thus to forfeit the esteem and respect with which he has hitherto been regarded by his fellow colonists. -Wellington Independant, 28/5/1851.
THE LETTERS OF MR. VALPY, THE DEPUTATION OF RESOLUTIONISTS, AND CAPT. CARGILL, REFERRING TO THE PUBLIC MEETING OF 13th MAY.
MR. VALPY TO MR. MACANDREW AND THE OTHER GENTLEMEN OF THE DEPUTATION.
The Forbury, near Dunedin, 16th May, 1851.
Gentlemen, — I had, yesterday, the honor of meeting the Deputation, who favored me with a copy of the Resolutions passed at your late meeting. In order to express more carefully the reasons by which I am actuated, and to afford the better opportunity for considering the views you entertain, I requested permission to send a written reply to the same, which I have now the pleasure to transmit. I would again repeat my thanks for the kind feelings you were good enough to express on the occasion, and once more to assure you that they are cordially reciprocated.
Respect for the sentiments of my fellow-colonists, and the circumstance of having hitherto acted in concert with Captain Cargill and your esteemed Minister in all public matters, has caused me great concern, at now finding myself in a position antagonistic to their own. But widely as we differ, I perceive with no small satisfaction by your first resolution, that in a main and essential point the inhabitants of Dunedin are unanimous. We all to a man earnestly desire the accomplishment of Sir George Grey's intention to give us that form of Government proposed by him, and accepted by ourselves, and now for the second time approved in a public meeting. This we all consider suited to the wants of the community; and this His Excellency is also anxious to afford, so soon as the captious opposition of a party shall allow him to carry out his plans.
The point immediately under consideration, which has set the inhabitants of Otago so widely at variance, may be thus simply explained. Subjects of a very important nature demand immediate attention, and Sir George Grey has no alternative but this: either to postpone the adjustment until a new Act of Parliament can be obtained, and new laws passed, or to call a Council, as at present constituted, in order immediately to decide on the following very important matters: —
'Owing to the dissolution of the New Zealand Company, all the various questions between that body and its landpurchasers are now to be finally adjusted; Crown grants are to be issued, and other arrangements connected with this final adjustment, require the sanction of legislative enactment; regulations for the management of pastoral lands are to be framed and put in force; the different questions which affect the interest of the holders of stations for stock in this Province must be considered and decided; a thorough revision of the Custom Laws, and a change from the present rate of ad valorem duties to a fixed scale of duties is contemplated; and an Ordinance for the establishment of a Local Bank is imperatively called for. The Council, as at present constituted, exists under the authority of an Act of Parliament, and the Governor has no alternative but to summon the Council according to its provisions. If he should be so unfortunate as to be deprived of the co-operation and assistance, as is threatened by this writer (the Editor of the Lyttleton Times), of every man of station, independence, wealth, and integrity in New Zealand, these questions, and others equally pressing, must remain indefinitely in their present unsettled state, and the functions of Government obstructed and embarrassed, until the law, by which the Council is constituted, is altered.' (See Cook's Strait Guardian of 23rd April.)
I just put it to you, my friends, to consider whether these are matters that can be postponed, without grievously affecting the interests of all among us, collectively and individually. Sir George Grey has adopted the course of calling a Legislative Council according to the provisions of the Act of Parliament under which it now exists, and has summoned the Magistrate, whose name happens to stand first on the list for this settlement, to enable His Excellency to avail himself of his advice, and to afford him, in his efforts to promote the public welfare, the advantage of his experience and local knowledge of the requirements of the settlement in which he resides. And your Magistrate would of course call a meeting of the inhabitants to give them the opportunity of making known the requirements of the settlement, so as the better to enable him to lay them before the Governor. This has been misrepresented to you as 'a mockery of Representation,' according to your third Resolution, moved by Mr. Wakefield; and you have been persuaded to suggest that Sir George Grey's Government would be 'more worthy of respect if acknowledged to be, as it actually is, his own work, than if put forth as the joint work of himself and pretended Representatives of the colonists.' Now, Sir George has no where led you to imagine that he proposes it as a Chamber of Representatives. This an Act of Parliament alone can grant you. He merely asks information and your advice on certain subjects affecting your interests; and though it be true he is at liberty to take that advice or not as he pleases, his untiring efforts to promote the public good are worthy of more confidence and better treatment than he has, I am grieved to say, received. It seems to be suspected by some that his Excellency has contrived this in lieu of granting a Local Government. Why, my friends, should we lend ourselves to join in so ungenerous a suspicion, or affront our Governor-in-Chief by imagining that such is his intention. We ought rather to have patience with him, and give him time. The organisation of a Government is a great work. In much smaller matters we think it right to deliberate, and calculate our means. And let us remember, that whatsoever is destined to endure, is of slow growth.
Now, let us take a review of Sir George Grey's administration. Who cannot recall to mind the disastrous circumstances under which he found the colonies; and who will deny the peace and prosperity his judicious measures have spread throughout these Islands? Hear the sentiments of the Hutt settlers at Wellington, as given in the Cook's Strait Guardian of 15th March last. They knew how to appreciate these blessings, having tasted the bitterness of being deprived of them. They knew what it was to experience the harassing disturbances of the natives; to have their labors interrupted; their families driven from them; and their hopes blighted. The judicious measures which brought about their deliverance, called forth those expressions of grateful rejoicing, with which they received His Excellency on his late visit to the Hutt. One of the Hutt farmers (Mr. Knight) bore this testimony, which is worthy of being recorded, 'that they were starving before Sir George Grey came, but now they had pounds in their pocket, and were prosperous, happy, and contented.' Surely we may adopt the opinion of the Chairman (another Hutt settler), who 'thought that when men of abilities were set over them as their rulers, they were bound to receive them with respect, and when they saw their plans were calculated to promote the good of the country, to give them their confidence, and to go hand in hand with them in aiding the development of those plans.' Let us remember also the honest confidence with which the advances of the Governor-in-Chief were received on his late visit to Dunedin; the general expression of cordiality and good feeling which he carried away with him on his departure from among us; and the right-minded view then taken of the benefits of his administration. Is this, then, the Governor against whom a contrary feeling has been so suddenly excited among a portion of the inhabitants of Dunedin? What reason can we assign for suspecting his intentions, and resisting his measures?
In reply to the request contained in your last Resolution, I beg respectfully to state, that I considered it my duty to express my entire willingness to attend the General Legislative Council, and assist the Government in carrying out its legislative functions. It has given me much pain so widely to differ from some of my fellow-settlers, and far more would it do so were I to be considered as betraying their interests, towards which I hope I have never shewn myself indifferent. Indeed, it has been my endeavour to promote, to the best of my ability, the welfare of the community, and also to further, by every means in my power, peace and good feeling among them. There ever must and will be differences of opinion among a number of individuals. If a man be of Liberal views, he considers it his undoubted right to hold and express them; if he be of Conservative, he may surely hope for the same indulgence. In conclusion, my friends, I would strongly recommend, that we put not ourselves in the attitude of defiance or defence till we see just cause for the same; and then I would challenge any man among you to stand more firmly by the liberties and privileges of our admirable British Constitution than,
W. H. Valpy.
James Macandrew, Esq. J.P., and the other Gentlemen of the Committee of Requisitionists for the late Public Meeting.
P.S. — I request the favor of your having this letter inserted in the Otago Witness, with your account of the Meeting; or, should it be to late, may I beg that it appear in the next number. Since writing the above, I hear that the Witness is not to be published till next week. -Otago Witness, 7/6/1851.
CAPTAIN CARGILL TO MR VALPY.
Dunedin, 21st May, 1851.
My Dear Mr. Valpy, — The gentlemen who handed you the Resolutions of the public meeting of the 13th inst have shewn me your reply, which you request to be published in the Otago Witness. Why you should have introduced the names of myself and the venerated pastor of our settlement into that document, I can hardly surmise; but as you have seen fit to do so, it constrains me to reply, because of the responsibility of the Rev. gentleman and myself as leaders of this Class colony in our respective departments: our responsibility to the Association at home, and to the people sent out by them under pledges which the Association will feel bound to protect and redeem. And therefore it is that the confidence reposed in Mr. Burns and myself must be clearly shewn out as being on our part responded to with sincerity, and to the best of our abilities.
You express regret at being at last constrained to differ from us. The truth is, that you have all along differed from us as to an important part of the principles we represent on behalf of the Association and the people. The Class character of our colony you have uniformly respected, — so far as the religious and educational element is concerned, — but the other element of liberal institutions of civil government based upon popular elections, you have ever openly and honestly been opposed to; stating your opinion that all such elective powers are uncalled for and mischievous, and your conviction that the people of Otago, if entrusted with them, would pass over the educated gentleman, and elevate some spouting Cockney into the place of authority and power. In vain had I pressed upon you your unhappy ignorance and depreciation of our people in this respect; appealing to your written statements appended to our statistics, that you never had been so well and so faithfully served, and to your personal comfort, as by tradesmen, bailiff, gardener, and laborers sent out by the Asssociation. And more recently to the fact, that within the last five months twenty-two office-bearers had been elected in matters of highest import, not only with clear perception and sound judgement, but with a quietness and regularity which veterans in the use of elective franchise could alone have achieved; and lest you should think that your own employees were superior to the rest of the people, that only one of them was to be found among the twenty-two elected. But your opinions were unchanged, and your dislike to popular election so decided, that even on he 9th inst., when stating to Messrs. Jones and Burns, at a meeting upon another subject, and in the presence of other parties, your probable acceptance of call as a Nominee to the Legislative Council, you added, that the introduction of elections by the people would cause your immediate retirement from politics.
Great is my surprise, therefore, to find by the document shewn to me (of date 16th inst.) that in going to the Council you would pledge yourself to support our application for a Provincial Council, of which two-thirds to be elected by the people; but your word is your bond, and I have the firmest reliance on it. The other part of our application, however, you are silent upon, — namely, that our present establishment being fixed (saving, perhaps, some reduction of expense in the police department), and our contribution to the civil list thereby fixed and defined, that no other appointments whatever should be made, but the surplus revenue of the district left at the disposal of the Provincial Council, to provide for necessary duties and improvements, as suggested by Sir George Grey. Your deliverance on this point, equally explicit, would he a relief to our future and intelligent electors.
But the most painful part of this unpleasant subject, which I regret you have forced upon me, remains to be dealt with. I have stated that you had concurred in and supported the Class character of our colony in only one of its two principles. Another party, about six in number, had been its inveterate opponents on the point you had hitherto supported; their object being, if possible, to overthrow its religious and educational provision. To that party you have now given your open support to the extent of allowing yourself to be put forward by them into a state of antagonism to the feelings and principles of our people; and this has been done for you by an act of the most singular and offensive irregularity. The meeting of the 13th having been called on Saturday the 10th, that little party, by singular industry, had visited the people individually in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, and adjoining districts, and even as far as the Taieri, and got signatures to a paper purporting to be a mere expression of kindly feeling towards you, but its real object, as expressed in the meeting when the subject had been opened and discussed, being to prejudge the question and fetter from voting. How many of them had found themselves bound by this snare is of course unknown; but certain it is, that the votes opposed to the resolutions, or in support of amendments — the meeting being over 300 — did in no case exceed 35 in number; that number including the whole of the enemy, and, for the first time, your own young kinsmen. And yet it is upon signatures thus obtained, and in great part virtually rescinded, that you appear influenced in believing that the reluctance of the people to your appearing in the Legislative Council in the character of their Representative is confined 'to a portion of the inhabitants of of Dunedin,' — in other words, that the mass of the people have desired you so to represent them. Could there possibly be a greater delusion!
Let there be no mistake as to universal respect for the powers of the Council, and readiness to obey its laws; but whilst it cannot change its own constitution, it has full power to give Representative Government and liberal institutions to the Provinces; and we have unshaken confidence that Sir George Grey, so far as his Council concurs, will make good to us in these respects what we sued for in December, the particular shape of which suit having, in fact, been kindly suggested by himself. Neither is the right of His Excellency at all questioned to invite to his Council whomsover he will, and, in my view, no one should be dissuaded from accepting the call in his individual capacity; but the Otago people cannot consent to be represented when they cannot elect; and even if they could elect, it is anything but likely that, on a question of constitutionmaking, their choice should fall upon one whose views are so opposite to their own, as to preclude all honest reciprocity between the elected and the electors, be their love and veneration for the candidate in all other respects ever so strong.
I repeat my regret that your bringing Mr. Burns's name and my own into your controversy should have compelled me to speak out; but your candor and gentlemanly principles will not only take no offence that in doing so, I should keep nothing back, but think it all the more honorable and manly, notwithstanding its disclosing a difference of opinion in matters on which the best of men can agree to differ. I had fought the battles of our people for years before a man or woman of them were moved from their homes. The object was, a Class colony, suited in all respects to their feelings and principles; and all that was essential to this having been obtained from the highest authorities in the empire, it is equally incumbent upon me to defend and maintain the rights of the people, by whomsoever endangered. One of these rights, and a most material one, was Liberal Institutions and Self-Government in their new location. This was secured by Act of Parliament, but afterwards suspended for a season. Our people, however, are not hasty; their character is tenacity of purpose, as evinced in their long drawn and blood-stained struggle with the Stuarts, until their principles having finally spread into mighty England, the victory was achieved, and had its issue in the settlement of 1688. Of these principles we are sternly and unalterably conservative; and of which the last evidence, by a really national movement in a more peaceful age, was that of the Disruption, — not as before by the endurance of gibbet and sword, but by the surrender of status, and endowment for the sake of principle. The little offshoot in Otago is precisely of the same mind. They are, as I have said, not hasty, but rational and willing to make every allowance for the temporary difficulties of Governors and Statesmen; but they have the fullest reliance that what the Parliament had pledged, it will make good; and also, that Sir George Grey will be nothing behind.
Now, my friend, if not fully informed of these the hereditary principles of our people, you had, nevertheless, found sufficient attractions in our scheme to embark in it. I would put it to you, is it fair or honorable to turn upon us and endeavour to bring your own views as a so called conservative, so to bear as to cause even a momentary embarrassment, and to do so by means of linking yourself with the little enemy in our camp? And here I must tell you, with respect to that little enemy, that our friends at home having complained of being embarrassed by unfavorable reports from individuals in the colony, and which they felt assured of being untrue, it has been my duty to trace and point out to them the main source of their embarrassment, being that of an individual whose position as a Government officer has given weight to his prejudicial statements with passing visitors, whose journals had been sent home. And here I must frankly tell you, that your league with our enemy is not of a sudden, but that it has for some time past been manifest to myself and others that the party referred to, and others of the little clique so far as their status would admit, have been the very men singled out for your special confidence and personal civilities. Allow me to say it is an unseemly alliance, and that our Association and friends at home must be made fully aware of it.
I have endeavoured to explain to you wherein our conservatism and attachment to liberal institutions consist. Your conservatism, as things stand, — in a colony where the Constitution is suspended, — would appear somewhat analogous to conservatism in Engand under a suspension of the Habeas Corpus; but this, of course, you cannot mean.
I remain, My dear Mr Valpy,
Yours very truly, W. Cargill.
P.S. — It is proper to add, with respect to your friends, and for the information of parties at a distance, as this letter must of course appear in the Witness with your own, that the purchaser of our lands at 40s an acre thereby contributes 5s. an acre as a first and only charge for 'religious and educational uses,' — a sum wholly inadequate for endowment, but sufficient to set things agoing, — to find Church and School for the people from the outset, and be some little help to them in permanently providing for themselves. It is not, therefore, the amount of this contribution which was paid readily for admittance that the parties object to. It is the fruit of its outlay — the moral aspect of the people, and their presence as future electors, that fills them with dislike and dismay.
W. H. Valpy, Esq., The Forbury, near Dunedin. -Otago Witness, 7/6/1851.
MR. MACANDREW ON BEHALF OF THE DEPUTATION TO MR. VALPY.
Dunedin, 19th May, 1851
My Dear Sir, — I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of 16th inst., transmitted through me in reply to the Deputation which waited upon you last week with the Resolutions of the public meeting; and while, on behalf of the Deputation, I have to notice the courteous terms in which your communication is dictated, I have, at the same time, to express their regret that its general tone appears to evince a misapprehension as to the question at issue, as well as of the motives by which they have been actuated, — as embodied in the Resolutions of the public meeting, and as verbally expressed by myself on presenting to you these Resolutions. I have said 'misapprehension as to the real question at issue,' inasmuch as your letter proceeds upon the assumption that we are ill treating His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, and are adding our efforts to the 'captious opposition of a party' to embarrass and obstruct his government; than which, I have only to say, that nothing can be farther from our intention; and I must add, moreover, that at our public meeting, there was the most unanimous expression of respect for and confidence in His Excellency; so much so, that I doubt not, were he to visit us again to-morrow, he would meet with a better reception than even he met with upon the former occasion. As regards the 'captious opposition of a party' — by which we understand you mean the 'Settlers' Constitutional Association' — it is right to state that we have declined, in the meantime, to be become members of that Association, chiefly owing to the strong feelings against the Government which it has occasionally exhibited.
It is not, then, from any want of confidence in His Excellency, or respect for the glorious British Constitution, that the settlers of Otago have requested you not to take your seat in the character of their Representative in the Legislative Council of New Zealand; nor is it from any want of respect towards yourself, as they can see no harm whatever which can result from your attending the Council, solely as a Nominee, or as a private individual; but simply from the fact that your doing so, without note or comment upon their part, would indicate an assent to the system of Nomineeism, which they cannot give, and an indifference to their right of Self-Government which they do not feel. And so far from their present resolutions being inconsistent with those of the 3rd Dec. last, it is considered that they were shut up by those resolutions to the adoption of the steps which they have now taken.
The Deputation desire that I should express their unfeigned pleasure to find that you so completely concur in the resolutions of 3rd. Dec.; the more especially in consideration of your oft-repeated opinion that the Otago settlers were not qualified for the elective franchise, and that the settlement was not ready for Representative Government. They feel assured that the more you know of the real character of the mass of the people, you will discern far more of intelligence, of shrewd discrimination and observation, than you are aware of.
I am desired to say, further, that if there are reasons which more than any others could confirm and justify the Otago settlers in the resolutions which they nave now adopted, they are the very reasons urged by yourself in favor of attending the Council, viz: the important matters which require immediate legislation. And we put it to you with all earnestness, whether or not it is wise and reasonable that we should have no voice in the making of laws which are to be binding upon us, and in the framing of a constitution upon which our prosperity as a community and the future welfare and happiness of ourselves and families so largely depend? We are of opinion that the subjects to be laid before the Legislative Council of New Zealand, as quoted by you from the Cook's Strait Guardian of the 23rd April, can be but to a small degree permanently and satisfactorily legislated for without the aid of a General Assembly elected by the people.
While we acknowledge the authority and power of the Legislative Council as at present constituted, and recognise the right of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief to call Nominee Councillors, whom and whence he pleases, we cannot but object to such Nominee for Otago being held as representing the settlers, who have no voice whatsoever in his nomination. Far better defer the consideration of these important subjects until the law is altered, and the power of electing at least a portion of the legislative body is conferred upon us. You allude to 'liberal' and 'conservative' views towards the conclusion of your letter. If conservative means to uphold and promote the principles of the Constitution, then we must lay claim to being really conservative, as it is our firm determination to do what in us lies to uphold the Constitution of this settlement, both civil and ecclesiastical, in all its integrity.
We fear that, from your characterising the Resolutions as those of a 'portion of the inhabitants of Dunedin' you may have been misled by a requisition, which we understand was presented to you, wishing you to accept the nomination, which requisition received the signatures of many who, when they became aware of its true nature, would gladly have withdrawn their names. We think it proper that you should know that the greater part of the names thereunto appended were given under the simple impression that the paper was merely an expression of esteem for and complimentary towards yourself. You may rest assured that the Resolutions of our public meeting contain the sentiments of many of your requisitionists.
I have the honor to be,
My dear Sir,
On behalf of the Deputation,
Yours very faithfully,
P.S.— With reference to your allusion to Captain Cargill and our esteemed Minister, we must strongly deprecate the names of these gentlemen being dragged before the public in a political matter in which neither of them have taken any part; the one not having been present at the meeting, and the other having taken the chair (without expressing an opinion) after the strong solicitation of a public requisition, a copy of which you will find in the proceedings. -Otago Witness, 7/6/1851.
MR. VALPY TO THE GENTLEMEN OF THE DEPUTATION.
The Forbury, near Dunedin, May 24th, 1851.
(1.) Gentlemen, — I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 19th instant, and am very happy to hear of the 'unanimous expressions of respect for and confidence in His Excellency' advanced at your late public meeting; and, moreover, to find that you have 'declined becoming members of the Canterbury Association, chiefly in consequence of the strong feelings against the Government which it occasionally exhibits.'
(2.) Having had no account of the meeting, except through the medium of your Resolutions, I was naturally led by the tenor of your third Resolution into the 'misapprehension' which you have been kind enough to remove. Not having been accustomed to attach much respect to an individual who deceives his neighbour with 'a mockery' of any kind, whether it be of counterfeit coin, or counterfeit representation, and who knowingly professes his merchandise or his legislation to be that which it actually is not, the passing of this Resolution did appear to me unworthy of such a Governor, especially as I could not find the slightest ground for the assumption that he did so represent it. Had the desire for a free representation been embodied in a petition to the Imperial Parliament, it would have have been the proper mode of procedure. But the request contained in your last Resolution, in which you endeavour to hinder a Magistrate in the exercise of his duty, and obstruct the measures of the Governor, who, in accordance with the laws, called a Council, whether, gentlemen, you are aware of it or not, was to do no less than to resist an established law of the land.
(3.) But from your present communication it appears you 'see no harm whatever can result' from my 'attending the Council solely as a Nominee, or as a private individual.' Had you come to this conclusion before, how much painful discussion would have been spared the community. The beginning of strife, it is said, is as when one letteth out water. The breach may be small at first, but who can tell when it may end. Yet it is very satisfactory that you have come to this conclusion; and the more so as, upon further consideration, you will find the appearance that has alarmed you, is but a phantom of your own creation. No authorised document of any description warrants you in maintaining the belief that your Magistrate 'would take his seat in the Legislative council of New Zealand in the character of your Representative.'
(4.) I have further to assure you of the satisfaction I derive from the unfeigned pleasure expressed by the Deputation, that I so fully concur in the Resolutions of December last, to which I had, at the time of their being passed, the honor of giving my public and strenuous support, having voted for them as openly and honestly as any of the gentlemen on that occasion. And so far from considering the proceedings of the Legislative Council to interfere with the establishment of the Local Government, I view it as a kind of preliminary measure. I readily acknowledge that I have frequently stated my opinion, and I now repeat the same, that the Municipal form of Government is not suited to so young a colony. The opinion you attribute to me of the Otago people generally, I repudiate, being fully convinced there is a large amount of judgement and discrimination among them, were they left to look into things and decide for themselves.
(5.) A reperusal of my letter will satisfy you that I did not advance as a reason for presenting myself at the Council, 'the great and important matters which require immediate and careful legislation,' but that I advanced them as a reason for Sir G. Grey's calling a Legislative Council, by means of which alone it is in his power to adjust them. You put to me the question, 'with all earnestness, whether or not it is wise and reasonable that we should have no voice in the making of laws which are to be binding upon us, and in the framing of a Constitution upon which our prosperity as a community, and the future welfare of ourselves and families so largely depend.' I regret any opinion I may form on that point is so unavailing, as I neither made the laws, nor have the power to repeal them, any more than His Excellency. But while I sympathise with you in the desire of obtaining a voice in the making of laws, I would also congratulate you, that in a late public meeting you had reason to evince 'the most unanimous respect for and confidence in' the Governor-in-Chief, who has now the direction of these matters: who will unquestionably do his utmost to supply the deficiency in the laws, and concerning whose ability there is but one opinion. I would further congratulate you on the brightening of our prospects, and remind you, that when we left our homes, we knowingly and voluntarily placed ourselves under government conducted by means of a Nominee Council, but that we have now cause to hope that a Representation will be granted, as soon as it is practicable for so great a work to be accomplished, and as nearly approaching the free Representations of our mothercountry as the mixed nature of the population, consisting of Natives and Europeans, will admit. And further, since the measures of Sir G. Grey are happily unlike those of the Medes and Persians, which alter not, you will have the opportunity, with his concurrence, of rescinding or modifying any enactment found to be prejudicial to your interests. But under such circumstances, and with prospects so bright, while you 'acknowledge the authority and power of the Legislative Council as at present constituted, and recognise the right of His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief to call Nominee Councillors, whom and whence he pleases,' admitting, at the same time, that 'great and important matters require immediate and careful legislation,' any delay in which would involve the ruin of some of our fellow-settlers, and check the rising prosperity the whole colony, — under such circumstances to resolve there shall be no legislation at all, until we can take the reins of Government into our own hands, would be neither 'wise' nor 'reasonable;' and I could no more concur in such a judgement, than in that of the master who starved his horse to death, while the grass designed for its support was growing.
(6.) I am very happy to admit your 'claim to being really Conservative,' as I am far from arrogating to myself the sole application of that term. The address I had the honor to receive from a large majority of the landed proprietors of Otago contains signatures of a kind entirely to remove the impression you are anxious to convey — that they had not informed themselves of the nature of the address to which they had given their support.
(7.) If the charge laid against me in your postscript of 'dragging certain names before the public,' — although as soon as I heard their appearance was objected to, I requested some members of your body to erase them, — I say, if this crime be of so deep a dye, what shall we say of yours who, though invested with full powers for their deliverance, persisted in dragging them into publicity?
I have the honor to be, Gentlemen, Yours very faithfully,
W. H. Valpy.
James Macandrew, Esq., J.P., and other Gentlemen of the Deputation.
P.S — May I request that this, as well as my Reply to the Deputation, may appear in the Witness at the same time with your letter. -Otago Witness, 7/6/1851.
THE GENTLEMEN OF THE DEPUTATION TO MR. VALPY. Dunedin, 21th May, 1851
Sir, — We have received your letter of 24th inst., to which we shall offer a short, and we trust a final, reply, the subject being exhausted. The object of yourself, and of your friends who attended the meeting of the 13th, seems to be to impress upon Sir George Grey that conservatism, loyalty, &c, are altogether with yourselves; and which assumptions we have no doubt His Excellency will clearly appreciate, by setting the fawning expressions of your little party on the one side, against the fully declared confidence of the Otago public on the other: that what he has said he will do; that under a suspended constitution the existing despotic form of Legislative Government could not be in better hands than his own; and that, whilst the wishes and wants of the people, as unanimously expressed in December, are fully before him, they do not wish that these expressions should appear to be represented in the Council by any one whom they have not elected, and could not elect. Your first paragraph needs no reply, except that its allusion to the 'Canterbury Association' must be understood to refer to the 'Constitutional Association' in Cook's Strait.
With respect to paragraphs Nos. 2 and 3, passing over your metaphors of 'counterfeit coin' and 'counterfeit merchandise' and your homily upon 'strife,' together with the neglect of your active friends in not having furnished you with the proceedings of the meeting, — which we know them to have prepared, — the question is simply this: that your call to the Council being to represent the Otago district; and as the circumstance of your being so called, whether simply as a Nominee, or by means of giving you a new place on the roll of Magistrates, so as to make you one of the three Senior Magistrates of the Province, can make no difference whatever; it still leaves you in the avowed character of their Representative in the Council, to which the inhabitants object on principle, and still farther for the reasons to be stated.
Your allusion in No. 4 to the part taken by you at the Meeting of 3rd December, compels us to do the same. That meeting was called in consequence of a communication from His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, and unavoidably at short notice. The Resolutions in reply to His Excellency were unanimously passed, and to the effect, first, that we would accept, as presently suited to this district, a Local Council, two-thirds of which to be elected by the people; and, secondly, that the contributions from from our district revenue being fixed and defined, as stated in the Resolutions. No further appointments whatever should be made, but the surplus revenue left at the disposal of the Local Council to provide for necessary duties and local improvements in their own way, and by such appointments as they from time to time should see fit to make. On the first of these points you have now declared your adhesion; but on the second you are silent. The part, however, which you took at that meeting was somewhat different from what your letter would convey, The requisitionists at once conveyed to you their unanimous request that you should take the Chair, which you declined. Nor did you take any part in assisting them to consider and prepare the Resolutions; and, the meeting being over, the general questions among the people were — Why did Mr. Valpy refuse the Chair? Why was it that he neither proposed nor seconded any of the resolutions? And why, being at the meeting, did he not take his usual seat among the gentlemen of the place, but near the door, and in apparent apprehension of misconduct on the part of the people? Now, Sir, notwithstanding what you now say of your adhesion to the Resolutions, and your conviction that 'there is a large amount of judgement and discrimination among them (the people), were they left to look into things and decide for themselves,' you will find that they can perfectly understand this latter qualification, and would think it strange to see the man, or party of men, who would presume to interfere with them in the unbiased exercise of their own judgement. Nor has it escaped their notice that you have a real dislike to popular elections, and a disparaging opinion of their fitness for being electors — whether of Councillors under a Municipality, or of Councillors under any other form, can make no possible difference. And hence it is, that in addition to the forestated objection on principle, they have strong reasons of objection to be represented on a question of local elective institutions by yourself, notwithstanding their esteem and respect for you in every other view.
In your 5th paragraph you allude to various other things which have presently to be done by the Legislative Council; but all of which can be sufficiently effected without a Representative from Otago, and without the smallest risk of Sir George Grey being like the 'master who starved his horse to death, while the grass designed for its support was growing.' You also state, 'that when when we left our homes we knowingly and voluntarily placed ourselves under a Government conducted by means of of a Nominee Council.' This is not the fact. Our first party never would have moved unless the long waited for Representative Institutions had been secured to us by Act of Parliament in 1846. That party sailed in November 1847, the act being in full force, and was not suspended until April 1848.
Your 6th paragraph alludes to an address you had received 'from a large majority of the landed proprietors of Otago;' and that it contains 'signatures of a kind entirety to remove the impression you are anxious to convey, that they had not informed themselves of the nature of the address to which they had given their support.' On this point we would refer you to the proceedings of the meeting in proof that many had signed in actual ignorance of the real purport of the address. And as the greatest number of votes in adhesion to the address, including landowners, your own kindred and dependants, and the whole party hostile to the Class character of our colony, was limited on a shew of hands to 35 (out of more than 300), — and that on one occasion only, for it ultimately dwindled to 10 or 12, — we leave the public on this point to form its own conclusion. But as respects a large majority of the landowners of Otago having signed the address, you are plainly deceived, being ignorant of the number who had signed unwarily, and who will be the last in the world to surrender their right of judgement, because of a momentary error under a successful manoeuvre. But even if it were so that you had such a majority, we should thereby again, and all the more, be at issue with you on principle. An oligarchy of landowners having a leading and principal voice in framing a constitution and legislating for the civil liberties of the people, would be the last thing to dream of for Otago. It would be a narrowing of the franchise in a way that our people have never been used to, and could never submit to.
In your 7th paragraph you accuse us of having demurred to your withdrawal of certain names which your former letter had dragged before the public. In the first place, it was only one of those names you requested to withdraw, and that after a lapse of some days, during which your letter, destined for publication, had obtained considerable notoriety; so much so, that it would have been an act of injustice towards the Rev. gentleman to leave the matter as a subject of gossip, in place of the more harmless effect of its being given in your own expression. In sending your letter to the press, as requested, we have simply taken the liberty of numbering its paragraphs for the sake of reference in this our reply.
We have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servants,
James Macandrew, John Healey, Thomas Bain, William Stevenson, John Hyde Harris, W. H. Cutten, D. J. Napier.
William Henry Valpy,Esq., J.P., The Forbury.
MR. VALPY TO CAPTAIN CARGILL. The Forbury, May 26th, 1851
My Dear Captain Cargill. — I have received your letter of the 21st inst., which you justify the sending by the casual introduction of your name, and that of Mr. Burns, in my answer to the address urging me not to accept the appointment to a seat in the Council, to which I have been recently nominated. Had this been the sole cause of your addressing me, my task would have been easy: I should have been spared the pain of commenting on and answering many matters contained in your letter, which are offensive and unjustifiable. As to the introduction of your name, I could not suppose that would have given you any offence, as you appeared so ostensibly mixed up with the proceedings of the meeting. However, I take this opportunity of stating that I had no wish to offend you or Mr. Burns, and that several days before I received your letter, I had authorised one of the party to erase the name of Mr. Burns, and substitute the words 'and other friends' in its place; and this alteration was immediately made in my own copies. Hearing afterwards of your entertaining a similar objection to the introduction of your name, I requested two of those gentlemen to remove that also, and I can hardly conceive that they should both have failed to intimate to you such an occurrence.
I cannot, however, conceive that an act so unimportant in every view of the case could have excited so much resentment on your part; and still less can I conceive how it can justify your bringing before the public any of our private conversations. Such a course destroys all friendly and social intercourse between man and man. But in the conversations thus unfairly introduced, and not correctly reported, I deny ever having employed the term 'spouting Cockney,' or ever having employed an opprobrious epithet to any of my fellow-settlers. Nor is the statement of what passed between myself, Mr. Burns, and Mr. Jones, quite correct. I did not say that 'the introduction of election by the people would cause my immediate retirement from politics;' but I replied, on one of the gentlemen doing me the honor to say, that, in case of an election, the choice of the people would fall on me, I thought I should not accept it, as it was not my wish to enter into politics, which I knew the being a popular member would entail.
I have no reason to desire that any views I have expressed on political subjects should be kept from the public. They have always been the same, notwithstanding your insinuations that my sentiments have undergone a change. I have always considered that the establishment of a Municipal Government is not suited to the state of the colony. Though important as bulwarks of English liberty in the mothercountry, they are even there attended with many evils, among which, and not the least, is the feverish excitement caused by elections, and the divisions which party spirit creates. I do not think that any good which could arise from them would counterbalance these evils, which I believe to be inseparable from such an institution in any community, however intelligent and well instructed. In this opinion you seem yourself to have concurred, — judging by the Resolutions which you framed in December last, in which the project of a Municipality was discountenanced, and the plan of a Local Government proposed by Sir G. Grey preferred, with some slight modifications to meet our peculiar circumstances.
I certainly have ever declared my belief that, in purely Elective Governments, the opinion of the noisy and turbulent few often gains the ascendancy, to the detriment of their quieter neighbours, who may greatly exceed them in numbers, in wealth, respectability, and intelligence. And further, I have expressed my fear that were this form of Government to be introduced, very few of the upper class would be admitted into the Legislature.
You allude to 'the Class character of the colony,' and 'to the principles we represent on behalf of the Association and the people,' and of 'the responsibility of the Rev. gentleman and myself as leaders and founders of this Class colony in our respective departments.' Having such a Representative as yourself, I can fully understand there would be no need of my services in that capacity, and I beg to assure you I never contemplated any interference with you, far less any assumption of your rights, both of which I could hardly have avoided had I been constituted the Representative of the people.
When you speak of 'the pledges which the Association will feel bound to redeem,' I could have wished you had been more explicit in stating to what you allude, as they may relate to matters in which I may be personally or socially interested. But you allude to the principles upon which this settlement was founded, and that it was to be a Class Settlement, and that it was to have 'Liberal Institutions of Civil Government, based upon popular elections.' I have always been aware of the first, for the prospectus of the Association proceeded upon this principle; but I never heard of the second as a principle on which the settlement was founded. I am at a loss, however, to know why you have thought proper to introduce the subject of Class Settlements at all in this discussion, for you admit that I 'have uniformly respected the Class character of the settlement so far as the religious and educational element is concerned.' Why, then, was the subject introduced? There are parts of your letter which lead me, in spite of my wish to believe the contrary, to fear that you design, under a courteous profession of belief in my friendship, to insinuate, or leave it to be inferred, that I was not friendly in reality; for you allude to a 'party, about six in number,' who, you say, 'have been its inveterate opponents on the points you had hitherto supported, their object being, if possible, to overthrow its religious and educational provision. To that party you have now given your open support, to the extent of allowing yourself to be put forward by them into a state of antagonism to the feelings and principles of our people;' and further on, you charge me with 'linking yourself with the little enemy in our camp.'
If it be your object to represent me as an 'enemy,' I would appeal to every man, of any and every creed, in the community, to say whether I deserve the imputation, and I must refer, though reluctantly, to other proofs, — to acts of mine to shew the contrary. Did I not take ten shares in the 'Otago Witness,' when I found it could not otherwise be established (and because I considered the interests of the Free Church required such an organ to represent them), one of the declared objects of which was to uphold the principles of the settlement upon which it was established, or, to use the exact words, — they 'are to be in harmony with the scheme of the Otago settlement.' Did I not subscribe more largely than any member of the community towards the roofing and the addition made to the building used as the Free Church? and did I not subscribe the same sum for a proposed Free Church at Port Chalmers? and did I not originate and largely contribute with two other gentlemen towards maintaining a second minister of the Free Church? I feel more than reluctant to point to such facts; but you have compelled me to it by the nature of your accusations. And here let me observe, that the Government officer, to whom you have alluded as one who is inimical to the Free Church, and whose intimacy with myself you have most unwarrantably taken upon yourself to censure, liberally subscribed to the same object.
You see, my dear Sir, that I have availed myself, of the same privilege of 'speaking out,' and that on very similar grounds which, you say, compelled you to do so; and I must claim the same indulgence from your 'candour and gentlemanly principles' which you claim from mine, — that it is to be received without offence. And pardon me if, in the exercise of the same spirit of candour I profess to you, I regard the principles of the Free Church as something more than the outward profession of a faith, or of a mere order of Church government. I believe these principles to be in accordance with those of the avowed Head of the Church; and if so, I regard peace and good will towards all men, whether from God to man, or from man to man, to be a doctrine of that Church of especial obligation. And allow me to add, that the observance of it in this branch of the Free Church would be of essential advantage, even more so than Representative Institutions.
I must again take occasion to borrow from your letter, — 'whether it is fair or honorable to turn upon us, and to bring your views as a so called conservative, so to bear upon us as to cause even a momentary embarrassment, and to do so by means of linking yourself with the little enemy in our camp.' Now that I have answered you, by shewing you that I have upheld all that I ever understood to be the principles upon which this settlement was founded, viz., that it was to be a Class Settlement, I would ask you whether it would be 'fair and honorable' in me to seek to overthrow the existing laws of my country, which prescribe for New Zealand its Government by means of a Governor and Nominee Council? I may use constitutional means to get it altered, but whilst the law recognises it, I feel bound, as a good subject to obey these laws, and, as a Christian, I am taught to submit to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. Nor should my obedience be carried no further than what the law could punish me for not doing. I feel bound beyond this not to interpose any obstacles to the execution of the laws. Though you say, 'let there be no mistake as to universal respect for the powers of the Council, and readiness to obey its laws, there is and must be a mistake on this subject, so long as mens' acts differ from their avowed principles.
And when I remember the kind of compact that was so cheerfully entered into in December last between the members of this settlement and His Excellency Sir G. Grey, to which you have adverted in your letter, to my great, surprise, for I thought that some among you had forgotten it, — I feel justified in asking you, 'whether it is fair and honorable,' before we know whether Sir George has violated, or even intended to violate, his engagement with us, to take steps to embarrass his Government by depriving him of the means of carrying it on. It does appear to me very like begging a few shillings from a man, and then attempting to rob him of what he has left. We first solicit, and when we get all that we asked for, — namely, a promise, — we try to compel the performance of it by endeavouring to embarrass the Governor. If, too, Sir G. Grey can give us Representative Institutions, as you allege, he could only do so through his Council. Then how unreasonable and unfair towards him, and how destructive of your own objects, is it to seek to deprive him of that Council. You express your disapproval of the course of proceeding adopted at the public meeting. You say that 'in my view no one should be dissuaded from accepting the call in his individual capacity.' It is very singular that such your opinion was not known, and it is unfortunate, for I can assure you it is the general belief that you concurred in all that was done at the meeting. But you say that 'the Otago people cannot consent to be represented when they cannot elect.' If by that you mean that the object of the public meeting was to prevent my being considered as the Representative of the people in this settlement, it was 'much ado about nothing.' For Sir G. Grey never considered me, nor did I ever consider myself, as their Representative. I should have freely offered to promote any object which any of the people might suggest, so far as it agreed with my own views. But this would have been purely gratuitous, and not a matter of obligation. I can, therefore, perhaps at once settle the matter in dispute, by informing you, and the whole settlement, with every feeling of respect notwithstanding, that I am not, nor considered myself to be, nor was ever appointed by His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, your Representative. And, in this view of my position, so thoroughly agreeing with your own, I shall take the liberty of declining to give you the explicit answer you require in your third paragraph, and which, with inconsistency, you put to me, as if you considered me to be your Representative!
Your allusion in the fourth paragraph to the address urging me to accept the appointment, is of a nature that I cannot but regard as offensive. I shall not defend the conduct of the gentlemen who subscribed, many of whom are countrymen of your own, as they are well able to defend themselves. Their wealth and numbers form the chief support of the settlement; nor can I conceive how the settlement could do without them, they being chiefly landed proprietors.
Nor shall I do more than observe, that many of the gentlemen whose names are subscribed to that address are Scotchmen, 'of whose intelligence' and other good qualities you speak in such high terms, — terms not higher than they deserve. And yet you speak of these gentlemen as having been deluded. No, my dear Sir, they were not deluded; they knew what they were signing, for the address required no great intelligence to understand it. But many of the signatures affixed to the other paper which was in circulation were obtained, I firmly believe, by means of misrepresentation. Who was it that told the people, among other things equally absurd, that I was going up to the Council to get them taxed!
You speak triumphantly of overwhelming numbers at the meeting opposed to my appearing in the Legislative Council in the character of their Representative. I would leave it to those who were present to decide upon this disputed question of numbers, and would only remark, that it is not always in a public meeting that a calm and impartial view can be obtained, or the merits of a question fairly discussed. Truth often suffers from an inexperienced advocate, and even error may be so represented as to recommend itself to the unsuspecting minds of the people, who are called on to hold up their hands, and pronounce judgment, where reflection and deliberation are necessary to enable them to arrive at a clear apprehension of the truth. In the present instance, when even their leaders had so unaccountably mistaken the case, as to look upon a Nominee Counsellor in the light of a Representative of the people, is it to be wondered that they were misled. Under this view, I have more satisfaction in the support of the landowners, who, in the quiet of their homes, have formed their judgement.
I have to acknowledge my obligations to you for the information about the 'hereditary principles' of the Scotch nation. Perhaps, Sir, before I had any acquaintance with yourself, I had formed my estimate of their national character, and that it largely contributed to decide me on locating myself in this settlement, where I hoped to find in the Free Church a society of essentially Protestant, and composed of an orderly, steady, and moral people. In justice to my fellow-settlers and myself, and for the information of any intending colonist in my own country, I have pleasure in declaring, that these expectations have been fully realised. In addition to such qualities, I have to acknowledge an amount of kindness and good feeling towards myself, which is heartily reciprocated. In justice to myself, I repeat, I have made this declaration. And here I would reject both the charges contained in your letter, and the insinuations in the leading article of the last 'Witness' (so manifestly in accordance with the fourth paragraph of your letter), in which you charge me with being the head of a party, whose views are inimical to the Free Church. And here I may with justice complain, that the paper I was in a great measure instrumental in furnishing for the benefit of that Church, should so soon have been perverted into the channel of misrepresentations against myself! I deny having joined any such party, or ever having encouraged any interference with its internal management, in which I do not consider myself any way concerned. I have ever shewn myself friendly to them. They do not therefore need your championship, at least so far as I am concerned, much less can I conceive it necessary to call in the aid of the Association, as you threaten to do. For myself, I can only beg them and you to indulge me in maintaining that quiet which I hoped to have enjoyed in this settlement, and to leave me to the unfettered choice of my associates and friends. This last I cannot permit you or any man to dictate to me.
Your postcript is so unintelligible, that I am at a loss to understand its purport, and must therefore pass it over in silence. As I most sincerely hate all kinds of altercation, and lament that into which I have unhappily been forced, I shall not consider myself bound to reply to any further communications from you on the subject of the late meeting. It is impossible to refrain from pressing the consideration of the bad effect which will be produced, both in New Zealand and in Britain, when this unnecessary division between us shall be made known. I regret that you should yourself have furnished so strong a proof of the mischief of party spirit in a young colony like this. For so late as the 14th inst. you wrote to me, intimating the desire of the requisitionists to favor me with a deputation from their body, and you were kind enough to use the following expressions: — 'I am desired respectfully to state their desire to wait upon you with a copy of the Resolutions that were passed, and to give personal expression of the unfeigned respect and esteem which were unanimously evinced for you by the meeting.' How does this accord with the tone and spirit of your present letter! Much as I regret the remarks it contains should have been so unnecessarily made, they fall innocuous on one who has nothing to fear, nor desire, beyond the permission of the right to unobtrusive retirement.
I remain, My dear Captain Cargill,
Yours very truely
W. H. Valpy.
Captain William Cargill, J.P.,
P.S. — I request that this reply be inserted at the same time with your letter in the 'Witness;' and the more particularly, as I think it necessary the public mind, both here and at home, should be disabused concerning the insinuations directed against me in the leading article of its last number.
W. H. V. -Otago Witness, 7/6/1851.
CAPTAIN CARGILL TO MR. VALPY.
Dunedin, 30th May, 1850.
My Dear Mr. Valpy, — I stated in my last that there were subjects on which honest men could agree to differ. Yours in reply, which I received on the 28th, will, I trust, be an appropriate illustration of the sentiment. We certainly do differ, and that most materially, on some of the matters referred to. But as my object is, that the friends of Otago at home, and the body of our colonists, should have the subject fully before them, so as to form their own judgement, I have to thank you, not only for desiring your letter to be published, but also for its clear and full exposition of your views on the matter at issue, and which makes it unnecessary for me to say much in reply.
It will be seen by your letter that you had come to our Class colony with a cordial approval of the principles of our people in matters ecclesiastical, but without the slightest idea of their principles being equally fixed on matters of civil liberty, as had been secured for them by Act of Parliament, but now temporarily suspended, you state your belief that, under popular elections (including, of course, Otago), 'the noisy and turbulent would prevail, and that very few of the upper class would be admitted into the Legislature.' And you further state, in connexion with the Representative aspect of your call to the Council, that you should have freely offered to promote any object which any of the people might suggest, so far as it might agree with my own view,' — that is to say, notwithstanding the unanimous declaration of the people in December of views in opposition to yours, that you would still hold to your own. This is the natural result of representation by appointment in place of election. But you had already said, notwithstanding the above-stated sentiments, that of the two things asked in December you would support the first, — that of a Local Council, twothirds elected, and which the colonists are willing to accept ; whilst, on the other point, — that of no new appointments, — you have been carefully silent. Now it is currently reported that new appointments are being called for by parties expecting to hold them, and that they are looking to you for support in the same. And as the case of Mr. Coronor Williams for the creation of, and his appointment to, the office of Colonial Surgeon is especially and openly avowed, and believed to be under your auspices, it is, on the whole, inferred, that on this point you go to the Council to vote for appointments at the charge of the Otago revenue, in opposition to the recorded opinion and application of the people in their Resolutions of' December last.
It will further be seen, that whilst you adhere to us in matters ecclesiastical, and have contributed to the same, you have linked yourself on the present occasion with a small party in open and honest hostility to these institutions, and that it is upon the shoulders of that little party, by means of Mr. Williams, its new head, having got up a certain address that you assume in spite of the public meeting which virtually rescinded that address, that you have a call from the rank and intelligence in the colony to neutralise in the Council what was asked in December, and adhered to in May.
You accuse me of bringing forward private conversations. My code of honor is pretty well known, both in the old country and the new; and I can freely leave this point to be judged by the public. But you must allow me to say, in my somewhat veteran experience, that I can draw a line of distinction, in matters of public import, between what is really public, and what private. Often and earnestly had I urged upon you in private conversation your unhappy ignorance and depreciation of of the people you are here cast among, but to no effect; and in the meeting of 9th inst., when, as I and all present understood you to say, that what you were inclined to accept at the hands of the Governor, you would decline at the hands of the people; — that sentiment, so stated by a public man, taking a public part at an interesting crisis of a young community, is not, in my opinion, to be held as private. Such an idea would be treason to the people. It will not do, my friend, after having voluntarily allowed yourself to be drawn into the arena of politics, and finding yourself in an ungenial element, and in a false position, to erect a shield of 'Christian charity, benevolence, and so forth,' under which, to hide yourself and blink the matter at issue, as if your political opponents had dragged you into the arena. These opponents have borne, and ever will bear, more decided testimony to the excellence and value of your character as a Christian gentleman, than any of those who are using you for their own purposes can possibly do. Depend upon it there are none in Otago who have a higher veneration and respect for your character as a settler, than the body of the people who are honestly opposed to you on the present political question.
You allude to a public officer, sent to us from Wellington, and who had long done injury to our cause, as having at last abandoned his hostility, and even contributed to our ecclesiastical establishment. You have no doubt patted him on the back, and told him to be a good boy for his own sake; and I hope he will continue so, because, if not, it is pretty evident that the Otago public and the Association would have to move the Government for his removal, and for reasons you are not ignorant of, — reasons which it has at last been my duty in some measure to report to the Association, in reply to their complaint of having been embarrassed by unfavorable and ill-founded reports emanating from individuals in the settlement, in respect of its Class character and its people. But I forbear, and earnestly hope the change you refer to may be permanent.
You deny, and with truth, ever having used the phrase 'spouting Cockney.' I admit having so far modified your words, in order to avoid the publication of a colonist's name. Nor even now do I like to do so. 'Orator' has been your phrase, as indicating the class of persons whom our people, in your opinion, would delight to honor. No wonder, therefore, your dislike to popular elections. I would again thank you for the frankness of your statements. They will relieve the colonists from all apprehension that your sentiments of Civil Government should be considered as a representation of theirs; and, therefore, that your appearance in the Council on this occasion can do much harm.
I repeat, that in all such matters we ought to agree to differ. In my opinion, a system of Government based on popular election is alone suited for Britons and their descendants, and your thinking otherwise should be no cause of difference between us. If my expressions have appeared in any degree discourteous or offensive, I beg most earnestly and sincerely to apologise, and to express my readiness to adopt any other phraseology that can be shown me for equally expressing the truths and arguments I have felt it my duty to state.
I remain, My dear Mr. Valpy,
Very faithfully yours,
William Henry Valpy, Esq., J.P., The Forbury.
P.S. — In my P.S, of 21st inst., in place of saying 'friends,' I should have said, your 'political allies,' — meaning the little party which figured in No. 1. of the 'Witness' as concoctors of a petition, and in No. 8. as the getters up of an address. This explanation will remove your difficulty of understanding what was there stated. W. C. -OW, 7/6/1851.
MR. VALPY having been informed that a Letter addressed by him to the Editor of the "Witness" has been refused admittance, wherein he protested against the non-appearance of his Replies at the same time with the Letters of Capt. Cargill and the Deputation; and wherein, also, he requested the insertion of important Errata in the published Letters (his references to those passages having been made to appear misquotations), desires to withdraw from a Paper conducted on such principles, and under the management of a party, some of whom are to be found among his principal correspondents, and who deny him the justice of defending himself against unfair dealing, excepting in an Advertisement, He therefore begs to offer for Sale to the Public his Ten Shares of the "Witness." [advertisement.]
The Forbury, 13th June, 1851.
The Editor of the "Witness."
SIR,— Sincerely as I regret the late Correspondence, and heartily as I wish it altogether to cease, yet I feel myself constrained to protest against the injustice of Capt. Cargill's Letter of the 30th ult. having been published without my reply to the same, as there was ample time for its insertion, and surely space OUGHT, in fairness and candour, to have been made for it. In entering this protest, it is far from my intention to revive any of the past differences, but I do wish, by the publication of my reply, to counteract any unfair impression the Letter alluded to, unanswered, may leave on the minds of my friends in England. My reply to the last Letter of the Deputation outfit also to have appeared, for, though, it contained but few words, it sufficiently expressed my sense of the want of courtesy on the part of my Correspondents; who had repeated, moreover, insinuations and misrepresentations which I had already denied. And in alluding to this, I would briefly state, first, that my 'active friends' did not shew me any account of their prepared proceedings of the Meeting; secondly, that my first Letter to the Deputation was sent on the Saturday afternoon, and on the Monday morning (and not 'after a lapse of some days') I desired one of the party to erase the name of their Minister; and, lastly, that in the Meeting of December last, I DID not take my seat 'near the door in apparent apprehension of misconduct on the part of the people:' and, in sitting among the body of the people, I was of far more service to the cause of the Association (against which alone there was any expected opposition) than it is, at the present moment, in the heat of discussion, convenient to remember. As I wish this Letter to be inserted in the next 'Witness,' with my reply to Capt. Cargill, I beg to add a few Errata in the published Correspondence, as, without them, some of my references to the same appear to be misquotations.
I am, Sir,
Yours obediently, W. H. Valpy.
Having rejected the further correspondence of Mr. Valpy and other gentlemen on the subject of the meeting of the 13th, except in the shape of advertisements, we are also obliged to reject, on the same principle, the letters of 'J.B.,' 'F.M.,' and 'J.C.,' regretting their having signed the Address to Mr. Valpy, and would recommend them to make a general move amongst themselves. The letter of Dr Williams, addressed to Captain Cargill, though sent in as an advertisement, was too late for insertion this week, but will appear in our next.
No Communication will receive any attention unless accompanied with the name and address of the author, not necessarily for publication, but as evidence of his good faith.
We have to thank Mr. Valpy for these corrections. He is under a misapprehension in supposing they would not have appeared: — Paragraph 1 of Capt. Cargill's first letter, for 'leaders of this Class colony,' read — '4 leaders and founders of this Class colony.'
End of paragraph 1 of Mr. Macandrew's letter, for 'you mean the Settlers' Constitutional Association,' read — 'you mean the Canterbury Association and Settlers' Association;' and just below, for 'members of that Association,' read — 'members of the latter Association.'
Beginning of paragraph 2 in same letter, for 'want of confidence in His Excellency, or respect for the glorious British Constitution,' read 'want of confidence in, or or respect for His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief.'
Paragraph 3 of second letter of Deputation, for 'to represent the Otago District,' read — 'to represent the wants and wishes of the Otago district.' End of Paragraph 2 of Mr. Valpy's letter to Capt. Cargill, for 'enter into politics,' read — 'enter into the turmoil of politics.' -Otago Witness, 21/6/1851.
THE CONCLUSION OF THE CORRESPONDENCE OF MR. VALPY AND OTHER GENTLEMEN, RELATIVE TO THE MEETING OF 13th MAY.
Complaints having reached us that the whole of this correspondence was not published in our last number, we have to inform the gentlemen making those complaints, that dissatisfaction has been expressed on the other side by our subscribers for filling the paper with nothing else; and as it is impossible to please all parties, we shall in future please ourselves. We again strongly recommend gentlemen who wish to see themselves in print, to condense their argument, or we must reject their contributions, however valuable, on the ground of length alone. We have now two letters for publication, which, if inserted, would be an injustice to our subscribers, the one being three, and the other eight pages of foolscap. -Otago Witness, 21/6/1851.
MR VALPY TO CAPTAIN CARGILL.
The Forbury, 3rd June, 1851.
My Dear Captain Cargill, — After my last letter to you, requesting that all further communication on the subject of the late meeting should cease, I am surprised at being favored with another letter from you, written in the same spirit as the preceding. I shall therefore, in adherence to the wish already expressed, decline giving any answer to much of the misrepresentation contained in your present communication; and the more especially as I find in it a repetition of the statements I have already denied.
I cannot refer to your newly-imputed charge concerning the words 'Orator,' without declaring my astonishment that you should attribute the use of that expression to me. I admit that the phrase is not new to me, but as far as I can recollect you are nearly the only person by whom I have heard it applied. I have used the term Radical in speaking of those whom I considered likely to carry things too far, and thence to become disturbers of the public peace. But, Sir, judging from the nature of your correspondence, which is evidently designed to bring me into collision and ill favor with the people, among whom I have hitherto happily dwelt in perfect harmony, by most injuriously accusing me of depreciating the character of my fellow-colonists (in direct contradiction to my private opinion, and published declarations); merely because I have expected the same causes to produce the same effects among them as in every other part of the world; judging, I say, from the nature of your correspondence, and further acquaintance with the state of the colony in general, has convinced me that they are not likely to be the only disturbers of the peace and harmony of our small comunity.
Your observations in paragraph 5 concerning a Government officer, entrusted by our Governor-in-Chief with duties of no ordinary responsibility, together with your contumelious treatment of the same gentleman on every possible opportunity and your endeavour to excite the contempt and ill will of the people against him,cannot be too strongly reprobated, by one holding a Commission of the Peace, and himself a Government officer. Whatever might be your personal quarrel, it would become you better to respect at least his office, and the authority he represents.
With respect to the reports concerning the creation of new appointments, and my alleged interference in the same, I can only express my surprise that you should take up with such idle tales.
I would gladly hail any approach to a conciliatory spirit on your part, even without the apology you have been kind enough to favor me with in your concluding paragraph. But I would ask you, how can you expect me to accept the terms on which you propose our agreement to be founded. We might agree to differ on general subjects, but if you cast on me all manner of imputations, in spite of my repeated disavowal of the same, reiterating them in public, how can you ask me to agree to differ on such points? You strangely intermix professions of esteem and kindly feeling with these charges and insinuations. But does not this resemble the conciliatory spirit recorded of one of old: 'his words were smoother than butter,' 'yet were they drawn swords.'
I remain, My dear Captain Cargill,
Yours very faithfully,
W. H. Valpy.
P.S. — I request that this letter also appear at the same time with your own in the 'Otago Witness.' Captain William Cargill, J.P.. Dunedin. -Otago Witness, 21/6/1851.
CAPTAIN CARGILL TO MR. VALPY. Dunedin, 4th June, 1851.
My Dear Mr. Valpy, — I have your letter of yesterday, and beg most distinctly to disavow any other feeling in the matter referred to than that of the public discussion of a public object; and to assure you, that although we manifestly differ, and that most materially in politics, it has not in any degree diminished the respect and esteem I truly and cordially entertain for you, and shall ever, as heretofore, be found to impress upon all others.
Your allusion to my having treated a Government officer with contumely, or having any kind of personal quarrel with him, is wholly incorrect. My complaint was altogether of a public character, an injury inflicted upon the objects and progress of our settlement, and as such alone remonstrated with.
The further and honest avowal of your political creed, — and to which every man is equally and fully entitled, — leaves nothing more, to be said. It is impossible we should convert each other; neither is it needful to the candid who can hold to his own, and have respect for his neighbour whose opinions differ. Here, therefore let the matter drop.
My dear Mr. Valpy,
faithfully yours, W Cargill
William Henry Valpy, Esq., The Forbury. -Otago Witness, 21/6/1851.
[ADVERTISEMENT.] Dunedin, June 10th, 1851.
SIR, — If in your letters addressed to Mr. Valpy, and published in the last "Otago Witness," you had confined your remarks upon me to my private capacity, and had been contented with attacking me as the active little enemy, I should not have noticed the charges you bring against me, remaining quite contented with the knowledge that an enemy so small, so insignificant (as you wish every person to believe we are), could so effectually raise the ire of Captain Cargill, the leader of the Otago Settlement; but, as you have chosen to attack me as Mr. Coronor Williams, and as, you assign to me the honor of being leader of a party in this settlement, embracing a large preponderance of the landed interest, and a great majority of the working-class, you compel me to stand up in vindication of my office of Coronor, and of the party of which, you designate me the leader. The first allusion to our party which I think worth noticing, is that which accuses us of "singular and offensive irregularity." I wish the whole affair alluded to in that paragraph to be explained to the public. Immediately after the meeting of the newspaper proprietors, which, I believe, occurred on Thursday, May 8th, I was informed that it was arranged at that meeting that a public meeting was to be called to request W. H. Valpy, Esq., not to attend the Legislative Council. I could scarcely credit such a report, for the parties present at that meeting of May 8th were Capt. Cargill and Mr. McGlashan (both Government officers); Mr. Valpy, who had retired from the meeting; Mr. Jones, who, I believe, disclaims all knowledge of the affair; the Rev. T. Burns, and Mr. Cutten. On Saturday, May 10th, I was informed that the meeting was certainly to take place. I immediately assembled a few friends, and we all agreed, that as your meeting was expressly to request Mr. Valpy not to attend the Legislative Council, we might assuredly get up an address requesting him to attend. My information proved correct, for on the Sunday we found a requisition on the Church door calling a public meeting to request Mr. Valpy not to take his seat in the Legislative Council. There were no signatures attached as requisitionists, but when I went out on Monday to procure signatures to our address to His Excellency Sir George Grey and Mr. Valpy, I often came in contact with a gentleman endeavouring to obtain signatures as requisitionists to this meeting which had previously been called. If it had been an open meeting to discuss the question, I should have remained quiet till after the meeting, but you most unjustly accuse us of 'singular and offensive irregularity' because we fight you with your own weapons, and actually beat you, for whereas you with all I your efforts could only procure about 39 signatures to your paper, ours in little more than a day numbered 140, including a large majority of the magistrates and landed interest of the community. You accuse Mr. Valpy of mixing up your name and that of your venerated pastor in this affair. In my opinion he was quite right in doing so, as Mr. Burns went to several parties who had signed our Memorials, and used all his influence to get them to retract, but without success, except, I believe, in one instance. At one house Mr. Burns was completely silenced by the following question put to him by a person whom he tried in vain to persuade to withdraw his name: — "I suppose, Sir, if Capt Cargill had been nominated to the Legislative Council we should not have heard anything of this opposition?" This question was such a home thrust, that no answer could be returned. Mr. Burns's name was amongst the number of those requiting you to take the chair at the Meeting of 13th. These I consider quite sufficient reasons why Mr. Burns's name should be mentioned; I can furnish you with more if you require them. You also, I contend, were concerned in the calling of that meeting for the express purpose of embarrassing that Government from which you derive your living. You, I say, were concerned in it, for when I taxed your son-in-law, Mr. Cutten, with the impropriety of no signatures being affixed to the requisition calling the Public Meeting, he reluctantly confessed that he was one of them (mind one of them), but would not disclose the other names, and I affirm, without fear of contradiction, that he would not have taken the step he did without acting under your advice. With regard to the numbers present at the meeting of the 13th, I deny the accuracy of your statements. When the first amendment was put to the Meeting, your own party confess that they did not know which way it would go. You had a small majority, I do not deny it, but when you, as Chairman, persevered in asserting that the resolution was carried by an overwhelming majority, we, in self-defence, were compelled to divide the Meeting, and, by so doing, lost the active co-operation of many who remained on you (illegible) the Church, which is only capable of seating under 200 persons, and it was never full. Several gentlemen of the highest respectability counted 50 hands held up in favor of our amendments, and only stopped then because all had sat down before they finished counting. I am certain that there were at least 70 hands held up on our side, and it is only your dismay at having witnessed so large and respectable an opposition that makes you endeavour to disparage its number and strength. How you can venture to assert that it is an unseemly alliance for Mr. Valpy to associate with gentlemen by birth and education, is to me most extraordinary. Mr. Valpy never allows political differences to interrupt his private friendships. You, on the contrary, if any person differs from you in politics, immediately make that a plea for breaking off all acquaintance; and allow me to add, it is that spirit of intolerance which is working the ruin of this colony. Your paragraph referring to me as Mr. Coronor Williams sending Mr. Valpy to the Legislative Council to procure for me the office of Colonial Surgeon, is almost too puerile to notice; but as you have named my office, it must be met by a most solemn denial, and a few words of explanation on my part. I here state that Mr. Valpy and myself never had any conversation on the subject; but you and I have. You and your family urged me in the strongest terms to reside in Dunedin. You kindly offered to subscribe to procure me a stated income. When I received the appointment of Coronor (unsolicited) from His Excellency the Governor-in-Chief, you advised me to write and ask His Excellency for the office of Colonial Surgeon. I refused; saying that I had never asked for any appointment, and I did not wish to do so now: however, you urged me strongly, and I did write and offered myself at your suggestion as a candidate for the office of Colonial Surgeon; and I have little doubt, if I had pledged myself to act under your banner, I should have had no stronger advocate in my cause than yourself. Nothing can be more inconsistent than your assertions. When I first came into Dunedin, I, in my magisterial capacity, was thrown into direct opposition to yourself. Did you then say that I was currying favor with the Government, or Government officers, to obtain any appointment? No; all my friends, however, assured me that I was ruining myself by my opposition to Captain Cargill. My answer was, that if I had been in a private capacity, I should have remained quiet; but in my public position, I am compelled to take one side or the other; and I will take that on which I consider justice lies. Now, because by acting with the same spirit of Independence with which I started I am still found, in opposition to you a Government officer but in reality supporting the Government to which you are amenable, I am taxed by you with fawning to Mr. Valpy to procure to me the office of Colonial Surgeon. I must also disclaim all hostility which you assert I feel towards the Free Church. I came here intending to support the Free Church as constituted in Scotland, and have done so to the utmost of my power when called upon; but my voice will always be heard in opposition to the existing state of the ecclesiastical affairs in this settlement, which only resembles the Free Church of Scotland in name.
I remain, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
To Captain Cargill, Commissioner of Crown Lands, Dunedin.
TO DR. WILLIAMS. Dunedin, llth June, 1851.
MY DEAR SIR,— I am just favored with your Letter of yesterday, and as it chiefly relates to the requisitionists for a public meeting, of whom I was not one, and who alone can answer it, I send it to them accordingly.
Your remarks upon Church affairs should be addressed to the Deacons' Court.
As for the only private matters to which your Letter alludes — all the rest being public, and for the public to deal with — I would just remark that your only, or rather chief, inaccuracy, is the omission of dates. Two years ago I certainly did urge upon you, because of their being no medical man of like standing and experience, to come to Dunedin, and offered to contribute, or rather contract, for attendance and medicine £12 a year, in the hope that a few other families doing the same might be a sufficient inducement, and thereby secure your attendance for the masses who could not pay at the same rate; and were it possible for all parties to be again in the same circumstances I should be equally ready to repeat the offer which you then declined. Again, when you informed me as a friend that there was to be a Colonial Surgeoncy, which you were desirous to have, but would not ask, I endeavoured to set you right, as a matter of business; that, whilst you need not depart from your purpose of not asking, yet if the appointment, as you said, was really to be made, the Governor-in-Chief would necessarily be shut up to a selection of the name, or names that might be before him; that there doubtless would be applicants in the north, and, therefore it was due to yourself simply to offer yourself as a candidate, with statement of qualification. Since the December Resolutions, however I have openly stated to yourself and others my individual opinion, that the appointment is uncalled for, and would, in this place, be a useless burden upon our little revenue. You said on a late occasion that you thought otherwise, but did not deny it to be a matter on which opinions might differ. I think it decidedly a case to stand over for a Local Council to dispose of.
I remain, My dear Sir,
Dunedin, 11th June, 1851.
SIR, — Captain Cargill has just handed us your Letter to him of date 10th inst. In as far as it refers to our Correspondence with Mr. Valpy, we have only to say, that your statements are so notoriously incorrect, that we deem it unnecessary to re-open that Correspondence in reply; the facts of the case being already sufficiently before the public.
We have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servants,
T. Bain. D. J. Napier;
W. H. Cutten.
Robert Williams, Esq., J.P., Dunedin.
Dunedin, 19th June, 1851.
GENTLEMEN.— I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of the 11th inst., and to inform you, that unless you retract the gross libel which it contains, I shall take such proceedings as I may be advised without delay.
I remain, Gentlemen,
Your obedient servant,
To Jas. Macandrew, Esq.,
Mr. W. Stevenson,
Mr. Thos. Bain,
Mr. D. Napier,
Mr. W. H. Cutten,
Mr. J. Healey.
Dunedin, 19thJune, 1851.
SIR, — We have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your Letter of this day's date.
We have the honor to be, Sir,
Your most obedient servants,
D. J. Napier.
W. H. Cutten.,
Robert Williams, Esq., J.P.
AT a Meeting of the Proprietors of the "Otago Witness," held in the Printing office, this evening, June 17, sederunt (present) — Messrs. Jones, Cutten, McGlashan, Johnston, Harris, Macandrew, Captain Cargill, John Jones, Esq., in the Chair.
The Minutes of former Meeting of May 9th were read and confirmed.
The Editor having referred the Meeting to the Correspondence which had filled the last number of the 'Witness' to its utmost limit, to the exclusion of advertisements and all other matter; and having stated that other voluminous letters had since been received upon the subject, together with a very long one from Mr. Kettle relative to his affair at the Survey Office, all of them demanding insertion; and having stated further that several of the largest subscribers to the paper had given notice that they would cease to be such, unless the promises of the Prospectus as to advertisements and general information were complied with, he (the Editor) requested the instructions of the Proprietors as to how he should act.
Whereupon it was resolved, that the subject referred to having been exhausted, excepting in the shape of pamphlets, and Mr. Kettle's letter being much too long for the small sheet of the 'Witness,' and, moreover, being chiefly of a personal nature — That all the parties be informed that none of the communications referred to can be inserted, unless paid for as advertisements.
For the Resolution, 11 votes.
Against, 4 do.
JOHN JONES, Chairman. -Otago Witness, 5/7/1851.
Dunedin, Saturday, July 19th, 1851.
DEFEAT OF THE 'LITTLE ENEMY.'
We hail the formation of the Otago Settlers' Association' as one of those movements towards Self- Government which are so conspicuous in the colonisation of new regions by the Anglo Saxon race, and as likely to be of great advantage to this particular settlement. It is the dawn of that spirit of independence and determination to look into and manage our own affairs in a manner suitable to our wants and appliances, without which no community can be in a really healthy state. We do not wish to represent this union of the settlers for so praiseworthy an object as possessing in itself so much importance, excepting as the nucleus from which greater things are to emanate, and as an indication of the sound practical sense of the community, and their appreciation of the advantages of Self-Government.
We have again to thank the 'little enemy' for this movement, as it originated with them; and we have no doubt but they thought that it would be a great assistance to their cause. They imagined that they could keep the command of this Association, and by its high-sounding title give to their little clique the appearance of being even a party in Otago. But they exceeded their wishes, and put forward such an excellent prospectus, that the body of the people did not perceive the real objects of the society, but joined it in all sincerity, and have made it a really useful engine for the expression of public opinion. The promoters, doubtless, feel sadly mortified at the exceedingly undutiful bantling to which they have givien birth; and we have some fear lest they should attempt the vile crime of infanticide, by endeavouring to strangle it in its early stage of existence; but the sturdy little Hercules has been adopted by the public, and we hope that they will exert themselves to bring it to maturity. This society has been the very thing wanted for some time past, to bring the colonists together, and to give them an opportunity of publicly stating their opinions, and bringing forward their grievances, real or imaginary, to have them corrected or removed. It has been wanted no less for the correction of absurd and false rumours which have ever been afloat in this settlement, and to shew the originators of such unfounded reports in their true light.
The meeting reported in our columns was attended by about seventy members, the whole number of the members being about eighty, which is considerable; the rules of the society not having been published, and the existence of it hardly known previous to the meeting. The meeting was highly satisfactory, as shewing the opinions of the various members of the community who took part in it; and we feel assured that the public must have had a view into matters by the late correspondence of Mr. Valpy, in which he candidly avows his dislike to Popular Elections, and by the proceedings of this meeting, which may be of essential benefit in preventing their falling into some fatal errors which they might have committed had they remained in ignorance of the political sentiments of the gentlemen who have lately come before them. It is also gratifying to find that, notwithstanding the glowing description by the Chairman of the lavish expenditure of His Honor the Judge and his wealthy connections, the meeting preferred retrenching their expenditure, and magnanimously rejected those advantages for the sake of independence.
We cannot allow a statement also matte by the Chairman to pass without comment. It is: 'that when he arrived in the colony all the best sections were chosen; that, in fact, there was not a hole left to put his head in.' This is one of the reckless, statements which we so often hear repeated by the clique, which, if it go uncontradicted, may be highly injurious to the settlement. In answer to it, we would remark that it is notorious; that while chosen sections were and are unsaleable, rights of choice are in constant demand; and further, that the 'hole' which this gentleman at last found to put his head in, and which cost him £100, we have been informed he has refused to sell under £300 or £350. The meeting has shewn the little enemy in their true light. Their opposition to every proposition for retrenchment was founded, not upon principle, but upon purely personal motives of friendship or interest; but they were so entirely beaten, that we hope we shall hear no more; of them and their assumptions of majorities.
The accounts of the Church Trustees having been declared by the public to be satisfactory, this fruitful source of complaint is removed, and they will now be driven to the old practice of consulting the people in the quiet of their homes (i.e., slandering our Minister and every other gentleman who opposes their futile attempt to ferment discord, to misrepresent the capabilities of the Otago settlement and the worthiness of the community, in matters both civil and ecclesiastical); but we hope the public will be aware of them, and take their information from a more worthy source.
We should not have devoted so much attention to this little enemy, but from its temporary alliance with Mr. Valpy on a question of Civil Government having given it, although together they form a mere fraction of the community, an air of respectability; and we are quite sure that when that gentleman sees the true position of the party with which he has leagued himself, he will feel that it is an unseemly alliance. The barefaced assumption of Mr. Williams that he is the leader of a large majority of the landholders and working-classes is amply shewn out as absurd by the miserable minority which attends him on all public occasions. The little enemy remind us of the army of Bombastes Furioso; and we hope Mr. Williams will dismiss them with the same injunction: —
'Meet me to-morrow at the Barleymow,
I'll bring you pay, you see I'm busy now;
Begone, brave army, and don't kick up a row!' -Otago Witness, 19/7/1851.
No Communication will receive any attention unless accompanied with the name and address of the author, not necessarily for publication, but as evidence of his good faith.
To the Editor of the Otago Witness,
Mr. Editor, — It is satisfactory to find that we are now getting at the root of the evil reports which have been embarrassing our friends at home, and that some at least of the parties who have hitherto been stabbing us in the dark are at length publicly avowing themselves. We know now pretty well with whom we have to deal, and I hope that both the Association at home and the members of the Free Church here will at last perceive the folly of allowing public appointments to be conferred on those who are not only opposed to the principle of the settlement, but who have the-presumption publicly and openly to traduce the Church to which the great body of the people belong. I need not say that I allude to the concluding paragraph of Mr. Coroner Williams's letter in your last number: — a paragraph which could only have been penned by one who is either most woefully ignorant of the Free Church, both in Scotland and in Otago, or who has very little sense of the obligations of the Ninth Commandment.
As one who is intimately acquainted with the Free Church, I can positively assert, that there are few places in Scotland where the functions of a Church are in more practical operation than in this place; and although its traducers may find that the people are too quiet to notice their slanderous assertions, yet they may rest assured that these assertions do not pass by unobserved; and that those of them especially who are looking after appointments had better beware of stigmatising either the Church or its Minister. (This latter remark will doubtless be understood in the proper quarter.)
What opinion, think you, would our Canterbury neighbours form of the TASTE of the candidate for their colonial surgeonship, were he openly to insult their ecclesiastical establishment? I have a strong idea that the man would not be tolerated there. Every man has a right to express his opinions, but it is somewhat unmanly, to say the least of it, to seek to eat the bread of a community to whose a principles he is so opposed, and whose religious feelings he has the impudence to insult. It is equally dishonorable, after having come to a Class settlement in perfect ignorance of its principles, — finding that he has no feeling in common with a community which is characterised by the most extraordinary degree of harmony and unanimity, — to seek to stir up discord in, and to malign the settlement in the eyes of strangers who have no means of knowing the real state of matters. Such conduct is sadly at variance with that keen sense of honor which we are accustomed to attribute to 'educated gentlemen,' and which it is especially desirable to perceive in public men.
I am, yours, &c,
To the Editor of the Otago Witness.
Sir, — In reply to the leading article in your last paper, I only request you to insert the following brief observations, and I leave the matter at issue between us to the good sense of your readers to decide upon.
I never stated that I had a letter in my pocket from Mr. Valpy, requesting me to ascertain the feeling of the inhabitants upon the point of his accepting his seat in the Legislative Council.
And if you will refer to your own advertised account of the meeting of newspaper proprietors, you will find the quotation in my previous advertisements quite correct.
I am, yours, &c,
[Quotation from Mr. Williams's advertisement — 'That the subject is exhausted.' Quotation from the minute of meeting of proprietors of Otago Witness, a copy of which was sent to Mr. Williams: — 'That the subject referred to having been exhausted, except in the shape of pamphlets.' — With reference to the statement made in our leading article, contradicted by Mr. Williams, the two gentlemen present at his conversation with Mr. Cutten affirm that Mr. Williams made the remark attributed to him. — Ed.] -Otago Witness, 19/7/1851.
At the same time as inky salvos were being fired across the pages of the "Otago Witness," the Mechanics Institute, a place of learning for the working classes was established, its patrons including Messrs Valpy and Cargill.
As the heat died from the debate, the Witness felt itself able to publish a satirical view of the proceedings...
To the Editor of the Otago Witness.
Mr. Editor, — As it is very desirable to have the Mechanics' Institution in operation as soon as possible, I am sure the authorities here, instead of retarding, as assumed in your No. 19, and which must have been a mistake, would be happy to forward so praiseworthy an object if a means of being useful were pointed out to them. Suppose, for instance, the Bench were to deliver a series of Lectures on whatever subject each individual was most versed in ; the public to be admitted by ticket, price sixpence; the amount so collected, after defraying incidental expenses, to go in aid of the Building Fund, I would suggest the following subjects: —
Model Farms: or the best and cheapest mode of Forming a Picturesque Potato Garden, by Captain Cargill; with Diagrams by Peter Proudfoot.
On the principles, Origin, and History of the Free Church of Scotland, by Robert Williams, Esq.
On the British Constitution (shewing the adaptability of Hindoo Government to a British Colony), by "Your Magistrate," W. H. Valpy, Esq.
On the Advantages and Profits to be derived from Tolls, by J. Macandrew, Esq.
On the best Method of Maintaining Public Institutions, by taking a determined stand in the background, by Dr. Purdie.
The Law of Storms: with a Dissertation on Weathercocks, and the best mode of ascertaining the way the wind blows — C. H. Kettle, Esq., Principal Surveyor to (?)
On the Native Character: Illustrated by Reminiscences of the Maori War, and Achievements of the Armed Police, by A. C. Strode, Esq., R.M.
I feel confident, Sir, that such a course would draw a full attendance, and bring considerable funds to the Institution.
MacPunchie. Otago Witness, 18/10/1851.
Humour aside, the situation had not entirely cooled and personal differences remained, as shown in the following court sitting, in which Dr Williams defended a charge of assault on Mr Macandrew.
RESIDENT MAGISTRATE'S COURT
James Macandrew, Esq., J.P., v. Robert Williams, Esq., J.P.,
On the 11th instant a meeting of the Bench of Magistrates was held at the Court-House, Dunedin. The following Justices were present: — Capt. Cargill, W. H. Valpy, Esq., Henry Jeffreys, Esq., Alexander Todd, Esq., C. H. Kettle, Esq., Dr. Purdie, and A. C. Strode, Esq., R.M. A full Bench had been summoned to decide upon an alleged case of Assault and Battery.
Mr. Harris appeared on behalf of the Complainant, and stated the points in the case he intended to prove, and called
Mr. James Macandrew, who being sworn, stated — I am a merchant in Dunedin. I was at my place I of business at Dunedin on Monday last, the 10th inst.; I saw the Defendant on that day in my store. I spoke to Defendant; I said, good morning, Doctor, what about the oatmeal? Defendant replied, it is corroborated. I did not ask him what was corroborated; and the Defendant did not say what was corroborated. The Defendant had made a charge against me. The charge was, that we (the firm) had dissuaded certain parties from purchasing oatmeal belonging to a poor widow, left in our hands for sale, on the ground that we had a similar article of our own coming out in the next ship, which they could buy much cheaper. I denied the charge, both on the ground that we had none coming that I knew of, and that such a statement was never made to any one. When the Defendant stated it was corroborated, I requested him to give his authority, which I had also done on the Saturday previous. The Defendant did not give his authority. He replied, he could see no good purpose it could serve. I repeated the request on Monday several times, which the Defendant refused to accede to. I asked the Defendant to place himself in my position, and to say whether he would rest under such a charge. He still farther persisted in refusing to give up his authority. I never called the Defendant a liar at any time. I consider that the Defendant gave me the lie indirectly. When the Defendant declined to give his authority, I said that if he declined to do so, I must conclude either that his informant told a falsehood, and was ashamed to own it, or that it was a vulgar fabrication of his own. It was after he had indirectly charged me with a lie. The Defendant, in a menacing manner, repeatedly asked me, "Do you mean to say that I could tell a lie?" I think he must have repeated this a dozen times, or more. As I was engaged at the time, I turned from what I was doing, and said, "Doctor, I do not mean to say that you tell a lie; but I mean to say there is a falsehood in it, and it rests between you and your informant;" and I repeated what I said before, that if he refused to give up his author. &c, &c. He still continued repeating the question under greater and greater excitement. I told him, that unless he was quiet, I must send for a policeman, as I could have no noise or disturbance in my premises. He still repeated the question; when I repeated the same answer, "that I did not mean to charge him with telling lies; but there was a falsehood in it.'' My storekeeper, Mr. Hepburn, was in the store with me at the time. Defendant then struck me on the shoulder; the blow was struck straight out from Defendant's shoulder; he struck me with his clenched fist. Mr. Hepburn then interfered, and I think he caught hold of the Defendant's arm and remonstrated. He said, "Doctor, Doctor, would you strike a man on his own floor?" The Defendant said he would have the oatmeal taken away. I said I should be very glad if he would. He then left, muttering something about "paltry storekeepers.''
Cross-examined by Defendant: — I do not recollect having stated that I held you responsible for the statements. I cannot swear that I did not say so; at the same time if I had been asked, I should have considered you responsible. The oatmeal was put into my possession by Mrs. Shand in the first instance.
By the Court: — I conceived that your persisting in making the charge after I had denied it was giving me the lie indirectly, by questioning my veracity. I never said the meal was of inferior quality, and that I had more coming out by the next ship. I swear positively that I did not say that it was a gross slander which nobody but yourself in Dunedin would have uttered. I did not say that the story was a lie; but I said that there was a falsehood in it.
George Hepburn sworn: I am storekeeper to Messrs. James Macandrew & Co. I am also an elder of the Church of Otago. I was in the store of the Company on Monday; I saw the Defendant come to the store on that day; the Complainant was in the store at the time the Defendant came in. They spoke to each other. The Complainant spoke first, he said, What about the meal story? Defendant said, It was corroborated. It was referring to some stories about the meal that had been going on out of doors. I heard the Complainant say to the Defendant, Name your man. This was in reference to the meal story. Defendant refused to give up his authority; he said, It would serve no good purpose. The Complainant did not use any violent or threatening language towards the Defendant. Defendant became excited. The Complainant said, that he insisted on the authority being given up, as he felt his character injured; and Complainant further said, that if the name was not given up he must consider it a vulgar invention of his own. The Defendant; was not excited before the last remark. The Complainant did not call the Defendant a liar, but said there must be a lie in the matter somewhere. This was in answer to a question put by the Defendant to Complainant, whether Complainant intended to call him a liar. The Defendant put this question to Complainant repeatedly. The Complainant, on the question being repeated, scarcely made any answer but moved from the door to the window to a writing desk behind my back, and was between me and the window. He told the Defendant not to make a noise there, it not being a place for it; and; that if he still persisted he (Mr. Macandrew) must call the police. The Complainant then said — I tell I you once for all, there is a lie in the matter somewhere; upon which the Defendant struck the Complainant, having followed him from the door to the window. The Complainant did not return the blow, or threaten to do so. I interfered and said — Doctor, you will never presume to strike a man on his own floor. Defendant said — I'll have that meal taken away from you immediately. Defendant left the store saying something about being annoyed by a paltry storekeeper.
By the Court: — I was standing making an entry in the books; they were standing one on each side of me; the Defendant reached over my back. I cannot swear it was so; but I have no doubt the blow was struck with the clenched fist.
By the Defendant: — Before you struck Complainant your hands were down by your side. When the blow was struck I was looking straight forward; I saw your arm come over my back to the Complainant.
By the Court: — I cannot swear the words gross slander were not made use of, as far as I remember; but, as near as I recollect, the Complainant said to Defendant, No one but yourself would have uttered such a story. My impression is, that the Doctor was desirous of being at the complainant, anyhow; for he followed the Complainant from the door. I never said the meal belonging to Mrs. Shand was of inferior quality; I said it was very dear. I never said we expected a large supply soon. One cask of oatmeal out of the ship's stores of the Dominion that was bought by Mr. Macandrew was sold the first day it came in. The blow was struck with the right hand.
William Elliot sworn: I am a carpenter, residing in Dunedin. I was in the Counting-house of the Complainant's store. The Complainant's nephew was in the counting-house with me. I heard a dispute between the Complainant and the Defendant. The counting-house door was open. I could distinctly hear what passed in the store. The Defendant was talking loud during one part of the conversation, and the Complainant was talking in his usual tone. I heard the Complainant say, Are you not aware that it is a slander upon my character; how would you like if you were placed in my position, and such a report spread abroad about you. Defendant then said, Do you mean to say that I am telling a lie, and repeated it several times. The Complainant then said, There was a lie in the case, and told the Defendant to produce his man.
By the Court: — The Defendant repeated, Do you mean to call me a liar. The Complainant did not call him a liar. Complainant told Defendant to go: out of the store, or he would have to call for a policeman.
Several questions were put by the Resident Magistrate with the endeavour to shake the testimony of this witness, when Mr. Harris objected to the proceeding, on the ground that the witness had sworn to the fact, and that it was not for the Court to endeavour to put words into his mouth.
By the Court: — I have stated all that I heard. I did not hear the Complainant say it is a gross slander which no one but the Defendant would have uttered. I heard the Complainant make use of the words, There is a lie somewhere. I was standing about three feet inside the I doorway of the counting-house. The verandah is about 33 feet; both doors were wide open. I did not see the parties, either Complainant or Defendant.
This closed the evidence for the Complainant.
The Defendant then called,
Barbara Shand, sworn: I am the widow of Mr. James Shand, and reside at Green Island Bush. I never at any one time gave any oatmeal into the possession of Mr. James Macandrew for sale. I left the thing in Dr. Williams's hands.
Mr. James Brown, Draper, sworn: I reside in Dunedin. I recollect a conversation in the beginning of October; Mr. Hepburn stated they expected a quantity of meal out soon, which they could sell much cheaper.
By the Court: Mr. Hepburn's remark that he would sell it much cheaper was in answer to my question if he could not sell it cheaper if I bought a quantity. Do you suppose that that answer was made to dissuade you from purchasing?
Witness: Such a thought never entered my head. I did purchase 2 stones of meal.
The Defendant having no further witnesses to call, Mr. Harris then rose and said —
May it please your Worships — After the evidence which has been laid before you, I feel that it will be unnecessary for me to call your attention, by any lengthened notice on my part to the case. I would, however, call your attention for a few moments to the facts which I proposed to prove, and would observe, that upon the proof of those facts rests the entire case. If they are not proved the case must be dismissed. After hearing the evidence which has been elicited, I feel confident that no doubt can exist upon your minds as to the fact that an assault was committed of an aggravated character. It has been proved by the united testimony of a Magistrate and another respectable person holding an important office in a Christian Church, which testimony places the proof beyond the pale of doubt; and I can scarcely believe that the Defendant will in the face of such evidence deny the accusation. As to the second fact, that the attendant circumstances were not such as to justify an assault upon the person, there must be, if possible, less doubt than on the previous one, it being supported by the united testimony of three persons, which testimony bears proof of the gentlemanly conduct of the Complainant; as also to the violent language and behaviour of the Defendant; — thus clearly showing that the Complainant would have been better entitled to plead justification had the assault been committed by him upon the Defendant, as well as from the fact of a lie having been indirectly given in the first instance by him to the Complainant, and followed up by a persevering attempt to induce the Complainant to commit either a breach of the peace, or of good manners. In support of this, statement, I would refer your Worships to the admissions of the Defendant, and also to the evidence, in which it is admitted by him, and stated by each witness, that the Defendant repeatedly asked the Complainant if he meant to call him a liar, or words equivalent thereto. I would here call your especial attention to this question of the Defendant, so perseveringly repeated, as being in itself sufficient evidence, in the absence of any other proof (of which a redundance has been produced) that the Complainant had not called Defendant a liar, for surely if he had done so Defendant would scarcely have thought it necessary to enquire so many times over if the Complainant intended to say so again. And I maintain that such a repeated reiteration of an offensive question, together with the menacing attitude of the Defendant; and the fact that he had been requested to withdraw from the premises of the Complainant, upon which premises I would have it borne in mind the assault was committed, are in themselves sufficient evidence of the deliberate intent on the part of the Defendant either to provoke a breach of the peace, or to commit one as soon as opportunity offered. Such being the case, the right of the Defendant to plead justification is taken away, and none whatever can remain for him. There is one other remark of the Defendant which is likewise particularly worthy of notice, viz., that after having struck the Complainant upon his own premises, he further insulted him by calling him a paltry storekeeper. The third fact, that the case is not of such a trifling nature as to be dismissed is dependent upon the proof of the two preceding facts; and I would leave it with your Worships to consider if such unseemly conduct on the part of one of Her Majesty's Justices of the Peace ought to be lightly passed over. It is a subject for great regret in the present state of society amongst us, that an English gentleman of undoubted respectability and standing in the Colony, and one to whom many look as an example, should have so far forgotten himself as to treat with disrespect those laws of which he is doubly bound to be a conservator. What, allow me to ask, will this intelligent and orderly community think of that body, to whom they should look for an example of all moral and Christian excellencies. If such outrages are to be committed with impunity by those who administer the Laws, how long will the Magistrates be "a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to such as do well?" Should this breach of the peace be passed over lightly, and without severe comment from the Bench, surely an unlimited licence will be given to the public to take the Laws into their own hands, and to dispense them if they please, according to the mode of administering justice adopted by our neighbours in California, viz., without Judge or Jury. I will refrain from offering any further remarks upon the matter, and resign it into your hands to deal with. Before doing so, however, I would observe that no ill feeling has induced the Complainant to institute these proceedings, but that they are the result of a sense of duty to himself and to his fellow Colonists.
The Defendant then made the following statement in his defence: On Saturday the 8th inst. Mr. Macandrew distinctly informed me that he should consider me responsible for the truth of the stories. He asked for my authority, and said it was a foul slander, and which the authors were afraid to own to, and he should hold me responsible. I called upon upon. Mr. Macandrew on Monday last; he began by saying, How about these stories? have you come to give up your authority, or have you found them to be false? My answer was, I have received confirmation of the truth of them, but I do not see the use of delivering up the names unless you bring me before competent authority. I believe the stories to be true, and I will abide by them. He then answered that they were lies, or some gross scandals which had lately been uttered in Dunedin. Of course, as I said, I believed the stories to be true. I immediately asked him if he called me a liar? he again repeated the words, he had previously made use of. I several times asked him if he meant to call me a liar. At last he said it was a lying, gross slander which no one but myself in Dunedin would have uttered. I immediately raised my hand and struck him.
Mr. Harris: May it please your Worships, — the statement which has just been made by the Defendant, coming as it has done at this stage of the proceedings, renders it necessary that I should make a few remarks, which I would beg leave to do. The commission of the offence has been acknowledged, and the only point therefore upon which a doubt can arise is, whether the lie was given indirectly in the first instance by the Complainant or by the Defendant. The whole of the evidence for the prosecution goes to prove that it was given by the Defendant to the Complainant, and the only statement to the contrary is that of the Defendant himself. With such evidence before you, I would leave the matter in your hands.
The Defendant said he had prepared a defence, but that he did not think it necessary to trouble the Bench further.
The Court was cleared in no very gentle or polite manner, the order "Walk out" being given in a peremptory tone, and after the lapse of about half an hour the public were again admitted; when the Resident Magistrate delivered the decision of the Court. He remarked that the Bench regretted having to decide on this unpleasant affair. The sentence of the Court was, that the Defendant be fined 30s. and costs. -Otago Witness, 15/11/1851.
On the 15th inst., at The Forbury, near Dunedin, by the Rev. J. A Fenton, Henry Jeffreys, Esq., J. P., eldest son of the late Venerable Archdeacon of Bombay, to Ellen Penelope, eldest daughter of W. H. Valpy, Esq., J.P., late of the Honourable East India Company's Bengal Civil Service. -Otago Witness, 24/1/1852.
|"The Forbury," seen at the end of what is now Valpy Street. Hocken Library image.|
On Wednesday, the 24th inst., the children were again entertained by W. H. Valpy, Esq., at the Forbury, and returned in high spirits with the hospitality of the kind host. We cannot but express extreme satisfaction with the attention bestowed on the educational institutions and the scholars by the gentlemen of the settlement. Such little matters have greater weight than at first is apparent. -Otago Witness, 27/3/1852.
NEW ZEALAND SPECTATOR AND Cook's Strait Guardian. Saturday May MAY 29, 1852.
We are glad to find that the observations which, a short time since, we felt constrained to make upon the gross and unjustifiable attacks in the Otago Witness, by Captain Cargill, on those who were opposed to his views, have not been without their due effect. While their force and justice are acknowledged by the respectable part of that community, the impotent and ludicrous rage exhibited by the "fiery little Scotchman" in the last number of his paper which we have received, shews that he writhes under the merited castigation, and miserably scotches the Queen's English in his attempt to reply to it. This effusion does not call for much notice at our hands, since it is a mere repetition of vulgar coarse abuse of the objects of his former enmity, interspersed with attacks of a similar kind against ourselves. Captain Cargill, in his management of the Witness, appears to consider the only use of his paper is to run a muck against all who are of good report if they happen to differ from him — that, by ceaseless vituperation of respectable settlers or of Government officers, he best discharges his self imposed editorial duties. The previous number (May 8) of the Witness is filled with abuse of the lowest kind of Mr. Valpy one of the most influential and respected settlers at Otago, one who has done more than any other single individual to promote its prosperity, and who, in fact, is acknowledged to have been the mainstay and support of the settlement. While the Free Church Association were labouring with indifferent success to secure purchasers to give stability to their scheme, and enable them to carry out the engagements they had entered into, while it was yet a matter of considerable uncertainty from the slow progress that had been made, and the comparatively few sales of land that had been effected, whether the contemplated arrangements of the Free Church Association would ever be realised, in a fortunate hour for them Mr. Valpy determined to become a settler at Otago, and by the purchase by himself and connections of fifty properties, infused fresh vigour and confidence in the enterprise. That the Association were duly sensible of this is proved by the fact that Mr. Valpy's name was published by them throughout England and Scotland as one of the intending settlers at Otago, and the knowledge of this circumstance induced many to become purchasers who otherwise would never have ventured in the scheme. We forbear to enlarge on the judicious and liberal use Mr. Valpy has made of his ample fortune in improving his property at Otago, and in affording employment to the working classes at a time when employment was most needed in that settlement, since it is acknowledged on all hands that but for this judicious and well timed liberality on his part, the position of that settlement would have been extremely critical. Captain Cargill seems to be very angry with Mr. Valpy because he made some observation to the effect that he would be glad to sell some of his land for half what it had cost him. As the nominal existence of the Association is the only pretext for paying Capt. Cargill £300 a-year as its Agent, he feels his craft to be in danger, and labours hard to induce the belief that the rural land in that settlement is worth more than the upset price of £2 per acre. What he can know of the nature or value of land in any of the rural districts in Otago it would be difficult to conceive, seeing he has never but twice extended his visits five miles beyond the limits of Dunedin, and his diurnal walks are for the most part limited to pacing the public jetty — but whatever he may venture to assert to the contrary, it is notorious at Otago that the Agent of the Association has never sold a single Rural section of fifty acres since the settlement has been established, that the highest price of a rural unchosen land order ever known to be realised there is Fifty Pounds, while the average price has been from £25 to £40.
The fact is that the fate of these class settlements is sealed; while purchasers will be found in numbers for the land at Otago, as in any other settlement in the Southern Province, at its fair market price, no one feels disposed to pay in addition to that price the sum levied by the Association to support its peculiar and exclusive tenets; and the settlement in consequence languishes, while the land remains unoccupied. In support of this statement we have only to refer to the memorial recently received from Otago (to which we referred some time since) signed by one hundred and forty of the most respectable and influential settlers, including six Justices of the Peace, and nearly all the most considerable land owners. This memorial is in effect the same as that which was signed by nearly eight hundred settlers in this settlement. The memorialists deeply sensible from daily experience of the injuries they suffer from the existence of the Association, pray that the Settlement may be included in one uniform system of management of the Crown Lands, and may enjoy the benefits of Sir George Grey's liberal Pastoral Regulations. These facts cannot but occur to Captain Cargill as he daily paces the Otago Jetty, he must by this time be fully convinced of the rottenness of the system he attempts to uphold, of the precariousness of the tenure by which he receives his £300 a-year; of the absolute want of "conscience and fixed principles" he exhibits in receiving so large a salary from the revenue of the settlement, for which he absolutely does nothing, and therefore we suppose he mumbles something about contemplating the virtue of resignation, just as a well bred dog is observed to walk out when he perceives unmistakable preparations for kicking him out. In the meantime, if he be really consistent Captain Cargill cannot find a fitter time in which to expatiate on the "nuisance and burdensome tax" to the settlers of Otago of paying him £300 a-year for his daily walk on the jetty of Dunedin, which seems to be his chief occupation when not occupied in writing scurrilous articles for the Otago Witness. -NZ Spectator, 29/5/1852.
It seems ironic that William Valpy's printed obituary should be written by Cargill, who could not resist a final dig at Valpy's politics while repeating his assertions of personal respect for him.
It is our melancholy duty to record the demise of W. H. Valpy, Esq., J.P., who departed this life on the 25th ult. at his residence, The Forbury. Mr. Valpy was 60 years of age, and came to this settlement by the "Ajax" in January 1849. At the time of his arrival he was in extremely delicate health, but had to all appearance so far recovered that his death has taken the public by surprise. He had been ailing for the last month, but his death was not expected even by those most intimate with him; a general break up of the constitution appears to have taken place. Unfortunately, Mr. Valpy's political views were in opposition to the general feeling of his fellow-colonists; but his private virtues, which will alone be remembered, had endeared him to all who knew him, and renders his death a source of deep regret. The remains of the deceased were interred on Thursday last at Caversbam in a portion of his own property, which, we understand, it was his intention to set aside for the site of a church and burying-ground. The solemn ceremony was attended by all classes of the community, anxious to pay a last tribute to his departed worth. -Otago Witness, 2/10/1852.
William's wife, Caroline, remained in Dunedin, dying in 1884 at the age of 84. Her funeral was conducted by the Salvation Army, as per her wishes.
His son and namesake farmed near Lake Waihola and, not long before William sr's death, took the first shipment of fat lambs by sea from Otago to Canterbury, returning on horseback in 12 days - quite a feat at the time. He farmed at several Otago locations, was made a JP in 1860 and died at Oamaru in 1911, aged 79.
William's eldest daughter, Ellen Penelope, married only a few days before her father's unexpected death. Mrs Jeffreys moved to Australia with husband and daughter that year - her daughter, Caroline, died in 1854. Ellen returned to New Zealand in 1860 with a young son and another on the way. They moved to Oamaru - one son was hospitalised as insane and the other died of typhus. Ellen then moved home to Dunedin to live with her sister Catherine. Her watercolour paintings of early Dunedin are an invaluable record of the colony's early years.
Catherine was also married in 1852, to James Fulton, and lived on a Taieri Plains farm, "Ravenscliffe." They had eight children. Catherine was active in the Women's Temperance Union, being the founder and first President of the Dunedin branch in 1885 and Dominion President in 1889-92. Her husband was elected to New Zealand's House of Representatives in 1879. Catherine attended sessions in the House to follow the progress of the Women's Suffrage Bill and, after the Bill had passed, she drove her female neighbours to the polling booth to exercise their right. Her husband died in 1891 and she continued to run the family farm. She died in 1919, aged 90.
|Dunedin Harbour and Andersons Bay, C Valpy, 1849. Hocken Library image.|
Arabella did not marry and she is best known for being instrumental in the founding of Dunedin's chapter of the Salvation Army. She wrote to General Booth, its founder, in 1882 and enclosed a cheque for L100 for costs. Booth sent a pair of his officers to Dunedin later that year. Arabella was also a supporter of female suffrage. She died in 1910.
Juliet was also an artist, and married William Mackworth in a double ceremony with her sister Catherine. Their daughter died in infancy. Juliet later remarried and died in 1911.
|First four houses, J Valpy, 1852. Hocken Library image.|
|The grave of Caroline Valpy, Southern Cemetery, Dunedin, NZ.|
|Near that of his wife, the 1890 grave of William Henry Valpy, Esq., JP.|
LINK WITH PAST
HISTORIC FORBURY HOME
NEARLY A CENTURY OLD RESIDENCE OF PIONEER SETTLER
The recent removal of a large stone house at Forbury Corner severed a link with a colourful and interesting page of the early history of Dunedin. Standing two stories high, with a slate roof and a top balcony and possessing architectural features not used to-day, this well-known stone residence was built in 1851, and at the time it was pulled down was within six years of being a century old. People often asked why the front of the house lay at an angle to the roadway. The explanation of this is that the house was built before the roadway was constructed — in fact, it was built long before there were any formed roadways in the locality and at a time when bullock tracks were the main means of communication.
Behind the history of this venerable house, referred to in an early account of Dunedin as having "proportions and surroundings quite baronial," is the story of a very interesting personality of the pioneering days. He was William Henry Valpy, an Englishman who had served in various positions, including that of a magistrate, in the East India Civil Service, this leading to his being known among his contemporaries in Dunedin as "Judge Valpy." He called the house "The Forbury," after his father's school (Rev. Richard Valpy, D.D.) near Reading, in Berkshire, and his own birthplace. Mr Valpy also seems to have been responsible for the naming of the district of Caversham, which was the name of his mother's birthplace in England.
The fine old stone house became the centre of a farm which, it is recorded, was "covered with rich cultivation — fields of waving gold grain seen beyond the ample parks and spreading lawn." Valpy conducted his farm on English lines, with a bailiff to superintend farming operations. (The use of the term "bailiff " in this way is distinct from the understanding of the term here, referred to one who superintended the husbandry of a farm for its owner or tenant.) Valpy died at Forbury on September 25, 1852, leaving a wife, a son, and three daughters. He was buried on his own property, which it had been his intention to set aside for the site of a church and burying ground. In 1890 his remains were removed and buried in the Southern Cemetery.
The house was used as a residence till five years ago, when the ravages of time, despite its sturdy construction, caused it to be vacated. The property was purchased by an adjoining resident, who decided to pull the house down for removal. For most of the information concerning the old stone house and its first owner the 'Star' is indebted to Mr R. T. C. Evans, Dunedin city valuer, whose records and photographs of early Dunedin are most valuable.
VALPY'S EARLY CAREER
Born in 1793 at Forbury, Reading, William Henry Valpy was the son of an eminent schoolmaster who edited a well-known Latin grammar and assisted in the publication of the Variorum Classics. Valpy was educated at Forbury School, Reading, and went into the Royal Navy at the age of 14. According to Scholefield's 'Dictionary of New Zealand Biography,' he did not like the sea, and exchange was effected with his brother (afterwards Captain Anthony Valpy) whereby he went to Haileybury to prepare for the East India Company. Entering the company's service as a writer in 1812, he held office in the board of commissioners and the mint, and in 1820 became collector at Cawnpore. In 1832 he was collector and magistrate at Shahabad, and in 1833 magistrate at Sarun and agent to the Governor-General at Benares. He retired in 1837 as commissioner of revenue and circuit there, and settled down at Bath. Later he lived at Cheltenham, where he interested himself in the establishment of a Church of England training school.
ONE OF THE " GENTRY."
In 1849 Valpy came to Otago. His health had suffered from his stay in India, and he was advised to leave England. By upbringing and the possession of capital he was eminently suited to be one of the "gentry" (Wakefield insisted upon them as a necessary element in a British colony), and he took with him to New Zealand a strong staff of house and farm servants, and the mechanical equipment for a sawmill and a flourmill.
Valpy arrived by the ship Ajax on January 7, 1849, and selected his farm of 120 acres south of Dunedin, giving it the name of Forbury. He also acquired land on the flat, upon which he conferred the name of Caversham. Early in 1851, with due ceremony, the foundation stone was laid of a fine stone house at Forbury. There Valpy farmed in English style, tnrough the medium of a bailiff, and each year entertained his friends and servants at harvest-homes. On these occasions all the children of the neighbourhood were feted, toasts were drunk, including the health of the baililf, "whose stockyard testified to the excellence of his farming."
Besides the farm, Valpy had runs at Horseshoe Bush and Waihola (the latter being under the charge of his son, W. H. Valpy, who, in 1852, shipped the first fat stock by sea from Otago to Canterbury, and made a long overland journey between the two provinces). The sawmill and flourmill, which were erected in the Leith Valley, are recorded as having started on May 11, 1850, Peter Miller being the miller and J. Fulton foreman of the sawmill.
VIEWS ON SELF-GOVERNMENT.
Valpy was a good employer, and a man of the highest public spirit. Though an Episcopalian, he was a warm supporter of Burns. Highly cultured and having long administrative experience, he was a valuable asset to the community, but he was too refined and sensitive for the conditions of a young colony (says Scholefield's 'Dictionary of Biography'). in 1850 Sir George Grey, on a visit to Dunedin, discovered that Valpy's views on self-government were somewhat similar to his own; he, too, was not fully convinced that the people of the young colonies were ripe for self-government, and he offered Valpy a seat in the nominated Legislative Council (under the ordinance of 1850). A largely attended public meeting (in May, 1851) passed resolutions, worded in terms of affectionate respect, urging Valpy not to accept nomination, "it being inconsistent with the feelings and principles of the Otago settlers to have anything to do with an exclusively nominated council, or that they would have the remotest appearance of being represented without their actually being so." Cargill, who was in the chair, said there was no man in New Zealand who would not delight to honour Valpy; he would probably be elected as soon as there was an elective body to receive representatives. Valpy, who was not present, received a deputation with dignity and consideration, but was not moved from his position. "It has given me much pain," he wrote afterwards, "so widely to differ from some of my fellow settlers, and far more would it do so were I to be considered as betraying their interests, towards which I hope I have never shown myself indifferent." As it happened, he did not take his seat in the council, nor, indeed, was he gazetted a member of it.
HARVEST-HOME AT FORBURY.
In his 'The Old Identities,' sketches and reminiscences of the first decade of the province of Otago, the late Mr James Barr has a chapter concerning Mr Valpy's harvest-home at the Forbury, upon the sea beach, near Dunedin. in 1851. "The festivities of Mr Valpy's began with the harvest-home proper," writes the author. "That of the juveniles occurred at the winding-up, and as a sequel to that of their elders. . . . We gathered in a large tent, erected in a sheltered part of the ground, and under the canopy of two beautiful fern trees, palm-like and graceful, which spread their broad foliage over the smiling and happy company. Forbury House was then in course of erection by Mr David Calder, and its proportions and surroundings being quite baronial, when compared with even the most pretentious mansion that had yet been raised, it was the object of much wondering interest. The well-known situation is bleak, but romantic. We pictured the extensive swamp, stretching from before the house to the south-west point of the Peninsula, covered with rich cultivation — fields of waving gold grain seen beyond the ample parks and spreading lawn. . . . The children's fete followed some days later. About 9O young hopefuls sat down to dinner, and made the good things provided disappear with marvellous celerity."
Reporting a harvest-home which took place on Mr Valpy's farm before the house was built, the 'Otago News' of March 23, 1850, says: — "On Friday last Mr W. H. Valpy gave an entertainment to his immediate friends and work people at his farm, near the Ocean Beach. A large and newly-erected storehouse was fitted up for the occasion, and about 40 people sat down to a very substantial repast of roast beef and plum pudding in the old English style. Mr Valpy afterwards proposed in very flattering terms the health of Mr Howden, his bailiff, who briefly responded. The Rev. Thomas Burns, in proposing the health of Mr Valpy, remarked on the immense benefit which men of wealth and station conferred on new colonies. The choice of Otago as a residence by Mr Valpy might be considered as a special blessing, and he was glad to see evidence in the stacks adjoining of some reward for his spirited outlay." The children attending the celebrations, it is recorded, were "conveyed back to town in the Forbury bullock dray, the youngsters being in high glee, full of the wonders they had seen, and already anticipating a recurrence of the saine the next year."
One of Mr W. H. Valpy's early interests in Otago was to help to provide a newspaper for the settlement. When the 'Otago News' closed down, he advanced £150 to purchase the plant. It was thus made available for the 'Otago Witness.' which appeared a few weeks later. -Evening Star, 1/12/1945.
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