Tag Archives: Hutt

William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William and Janet Nicholl and their family were described in the embarkation and subsequent lists for the Blenheim as coming from Paisley.  The family was listed as follows:

  • William Nicholl, 47, labourer
  • Janet Nicholl, 35
  • John Nicholl, 18, labourer
  • William Nicholl, 16, labourer
  • Charles Nicholl, 13
  • James Nicholl, 10
  • Janet Nicholl, 8

In all lists their name was spelled “Nicholl”.  However, in most documents prior to departure and subsequent to their arrival in New Zealand the spelling “Nicol” was used.


Return to The Blenheim People.


William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William Nicol was born around 1793, and Janet Jamieson around 1805.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, for October 1804, records that a Janet Jamieson, legal daughter of John Jamieson and Janet Cochran, was born 22 ult. and baptized 5 inst, i.e. she was born on 22 September 1804.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, records the proclamation of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson, both in this Parish, on 17 June 1821, and the payment of one shilling for three proclamations. The proclamation of banns was the notice of contract of marriage, read out in the Kirk before the marriage took place. Couples or their ‘cautioners’ (sponsors) were often required to pay a ‘caution’ or security to prove the seriousness of their intentions. Forthcoming marriages were supposed to be proclaimed on three successive Sundays, however, in practice, all three proclamations could be made on the same day on payment of a fee.

William Nicol was described as a labourer of 47 when he emigrated to New Zealand.  William Nicol, Pipitea, labourer, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1845, and in the 1847 to 1849 lists he was described as a tapkeeper,  Lambton Quay.

Janet Nicol died on 19 October 1848.  The Wellington Independent of 25 October 1848 carried the following report:

Died.—At her residence, Lambtonquay, on Thursday last, Mrs. Janet Nicol, aged 43 years.—An Inquest was held the following day at Barrett’s Hotel, on view of the body, before J. Fitzgerald, Esq., M. D., Coroner.—Mr. Nicol being called in stated, on Thursday the 19th instant, I found my wife lying on the floor (about 3 o’clock) apparently in a fit, but unfortunately she was dead; she had not five minutes before served the coxswain of the Fly’s gig, with a bottle of grog; when I went into the room she was lying on the floor amongst broken dishes and water, which must have been capsized at the time she had fallen by the severe shock of an earthquake the large cask in which we kept our, water having been upset. The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict, died of apoplexy.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 March 1878 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 17th inst., at the residence of his son, Mr Charles Nicol, Marton, William Nicol, formerly of Paisley, Scotland, aged 80 years.  The funeral will take place today, at half-past 2 p.m.”

John Nicol

John Nicol was described as a labourer of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list.

The Old Parish Register for November 1821 for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that John, son of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson was born on 21 October and baptized on 18 November.

The following information remains to be confirmed as applying to this John Nicol.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage of a John Nichol and E Rori Kapiti on 4 November 1841.  The records also show a birth, name not recorded, parents Betty and John Nicol, on 17 June 1848.

The Wellington Independent of 24 April 1847 published a Notice from the Treasury, Wellington, dated 23 April 1847, giving notice of the issue of Special Publican’s Licences to, among others, John Nicol, Pukarua [Pukerua?]. A John Nicol was also included in the list, published in the Wellington Independent of 13 August 1853,  of Gentlemen who had consented to act as a Committee to secure the return of W B Rhodes, Esq., to represent the Wellington Country District in the General Assembly.  The Electoral Rolls for Wellington and Wellington Country for 1853-64 included a John Nicol, Paekakariki, publican, qualification a household near Wainui.

The Wellington Independent of 16 September 1869 carried a lengthy report of legal proceedings relating to the lease of an accommodation or public house at Paekakariki, on land owned by Betty Nicol, the Maori wife of John Nicol – apparently known as “Scotch Jock”.  The Nicols lived at Waikanae.

William Nicol

William Nicol was a labourer of 16 on the Blenheim passenger list.

William Nicol Jnr, Lambton Quay, servant, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1847.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 July 1847 carried a report of a case in the Resident Magistrate’s Court where William Nicol appeared on a summons to answer the charge of having refused to support the male infant of Caroline Gooden, of which it was alleged he was the father.

The New Zealander of 9 April 1851 published the list of applications for Publicans’ Licenses, noting that if they were all to succeed the number of public houses in Auckland and its neighbourhood would be nearly doubled at once, and suggesting that they should be as much as possible confined to the leading thoroughfares since “In the back and little frequented streets they too frequently become rather nuisances and receptacles of vice.”  William Nicol, Black Bull, Albert St, was on the list of new applicants.  In 1855, William Nicol, Masonic Hotel, Princes street, was on the list of applicants.

William Nicol married Jane Harriet Brown on 9 April 1853 in Auckland.

The Electoral Rolls for Auckland, Southern Division, for 1853-1864 included William Nicol, Princes street, hotel keeper, freehold estate.

William Nicol retired from the Masonic Hotel in 1869, the occasion being recognised by the United Service Lodge of Freemasons, as reported in the New Zealand Herald of 1 April 1869.

Jane Harriet Nicol died in 1875 aged 49.  The Daily Southern Cross of 12 August 1875 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On August 10, at her residence Grey-street, Harriett Jane, the beloved wife of Mr William Nicol, aged 49 years.”

The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 May 1877 noted, “We regret to learn that Mr William Nicol, eldest brother of Mr Charles Nicol, of Marton, died at Auckland on Friday last.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel at Auckland, but retired into private life some time ago.”  The Auckland Star of 27 April 1877 had carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 27th instant, at Grey-street, Auckland, William Nicol, in the 56th year of his age.”

William and Harriet had at least seven children:

  • William Henry Nicol, born in 1855, died in 1880, married Rachel Darby in 1875.
  • Emily Elizabeth Jane Nicol, born in 1856, married Edgar Patteson Hulme in 1876.
  • Frederick Thomas Nicol, born in 1858, died in 1927.
  • Harriet Annie Nicol, born in 1859, died in 1887.
  • James McNeill Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1904.
  • Alfred Alexander Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1947.
  • Lucy Isabella Nicol, born in 1865, married Donald Alexander McLeod in 1893.

Charles Nicol

Charles Nicol was 13 when he set out with his family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Nicol and Catherine Jane Murray were married on 20 April 1852 at Wanganui.

In 1865 Charles Nicol founded  a bakery business in Marton, which was taken over by his son John Murray Nicol in 1895.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 April 1883 included the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 3rd April, at Marton, Charles Nicol (brother to Mrs. John Cudby, Lower Hutt), aged 55 years.”  An obituary was published in the same issue:

THE LATE MR NICOL.
The funeral of the late Mr Charles Nicol took place yesterday afternoon at the Mount View Cemetery, near Marton. The burial service over the grave was performed by the Rev. Mr Stewart and a great number of friends from Wanganui and all parts of the district paid a last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased by attending his funeral rites. The late Mr Nicol was a very old and respected settler. He came to Port Nicholson in 1840, in the good ship Blenheim (Captain Gray), which landed its passengers at Kaiwarra. Amongst Mr Nicol’s fellow-voyagers were Captain Cameron, of Marangai, Mr Gregor McGregor, and many other of our leading settlers. Mr Nicol learned the trade of baker in Wellington, and in 1848 came to Wanganui, and was employed to bake for Messrs Taylor and Watt. He subsequently became the possessor of the property in Wickstead Pace now owned by’ Mr Henry Churton and here he carried on his business very successfully for many years, during which he held the bread contracts for the troops stationed in Wanganui. Misfortunes, however, came thick upon him due to his own easy good nature, and the misplaced confidence he reposed in his friends. Taking his large family with him, Mr Nicol went some years ago to try his fortune in the new and rising township of Marton, and there he remained until his death on Tuesday last, at the comparatively early age of 54. Mr Nicol leaves behind him many children, all of them growing up, and having before them every prospect of doing well. As a man and a citizen the deceased gentleman was greatly respected, and he will long be missed by his old friends who knew his amiability of temper, unfailing good nature and sterling worth.

Catherine Jane (Murray) Nicol died on 16 July 1919 at Marton, aged 89.

Charles and Catherine had at least six children:

  • Mary Nicol, born in 1853, died in 1926, married Thomas Stoddart Lambert, architect, in 1871.
  • Janet Nicol, born in 1854, died in 1919, married John Aitken in 1876.
  • John Murray Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1918, married Emma Sophia Bensemann in 1883.
  • Margaret Kate Nicol, born in 1868.
  • Annie Harriet Nicol, born in 1869, married William Williams in 1903.
  • Ellen McFarlane Nicol, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Robert Joseph Carter in 1895.

James Nicol

James Nicol was 10 years old in 1840 when he sailed on the Blenheim to New Zealand with his family.

James Nicol and Isabella Smith were married on 5 March 1861.

James Nicol died in 1918.  The Wairarapa Age of 23 October 1916 carried the following obituary:

MR. JAMES NICOL. Another of the very early settlers of New Zealand, in the person of Mr James Nicol, passed away at his residence in Church Street, Masterton, about eight o’clock on Saturday morning.  The deceased, who had reached the great age of 85 years was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1831. With his parents he arrived in Wellington in the ship Blenheim on Christmas Day, 1840.   When quite a lad he became associated with horses, and was employed for some time in the stable of the late Dr. Fitzgerald. He afterwards had the mounts on the j horses of Mr St. Hill. In 1846 he rode the mare Bella at Bunham Water, Wellington, and was just defeated on the post.  In 1847 he rode the winner of the Te Aro Steeplechase. Later he owned Retribution, the winner of the first New Zealand Steeplechase, since called the Grand National Steeplechase. He also owned the stallion Riddlesworth, one of the first thoroughbred horses to be imported to the Dominion. In 1852 he went to Australia, and was present at the Bendigo gold rush. For a number of years he drove cattle for Wairarapa settlers round the. “Rocks” to Wellington, before the road was constructed over the Rimutaka. Subsequently he became part owner, with the late Mr Hume, of the Blairlogie station, and later resided at the Lower Taueru. In 1870 he came to Masterton, where he has resided ever since. He owned for many years the freehold of the Empire Hotel and possessed other property interests in the town. He was a splendid judge of horseflesh, and a skilled veterinarian. He was the oldest vestryman of St. Matthew’s Church, and was scrupulously conscientious in all his dealings. He was a member of the Scotch Lodge of Freemasons, and was a Sergeant in the Cavalry in the early days. In 1862 the deceased married Miss Isabella Smith, daughter, of the late Mr John Smith, one of the earliest engineers in Wellington. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and four sons The daughters are. Mrs Vincent Hooper (Auckland) and Mrs W. C. Cargill (Morrinsville). The sons are Messrs John Nicol (Te Aroha), George Nicol (Picton), Private Arthur Nicol (on active service), and Mr Len. Nicol, jeweller, of Masterton. The deceased was highly respected by all with whom he was acquainted, and his death will be deeply, regretted. The funeral takes place to-morrow (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

James and Isabella had eight children:

  • William Smith Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1865.
  • Harriet Jane Nicol, born in 1864, died in 1941, married Vincent Hooper in 1885.
  • John Robert Nicol, born in 1867, died in 1959, married Elizabeth Barratt in 1892.
  • George William Nicol, born in 1869, died in 1943, married Katrina Neilson in 1903.
  • Isabella Emily Nicol, born in 1871, married William Clement Cargill in 1894.
  • Frederick James Nicol, born in 1873.
  • Arthur Charles Nicol, born in 1876, died in 1941, married Lillian May Jackson in 1900, divorced in 1910, married Caroline Fanny Whyatt in 1920.
  • Leonard Spencer Nicol, born in 1883, died in 1950, married Stella Maud Clark in 1919.

Janet Nicol

Janet Nicol was 8 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

BDM records show the marriage of Jane Nicholl to John Francis Cudby on 9 November 1849.

John Francis Cudby was born on 28 February 1830 in Ingrave, Essex, England, to John Cudby and Henrietta Clampin.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 1842, aged 13, on the Thomas Sparks.  John’s brother Charles also emigrated to New Zealand in 1857 on the William and Alfred.

John Cudby established a contracting business for earthworks and construction, then added a coaching business, which was taken over by his sons George and Walter.

Janet Cudby died in 1907 aged 74. The Manawatu Standard of 2 November 1907 published the following obituary:

Mrs Janet Cudby, a much-respected resident of the Lower Hutt, died at the family residence yesterday morning, aged 74. The deceased lady, who is survived by her husband, Mr John Cudby, had lived in the Hutt district for a great many years, and went through all the trials of the early settlers. She had been ill for some time. The members of her family have been identified with the Hutt all their lives, and with their father have taken a prominent part in the development of the district.

John Francis Cudby died in 1920, at the age of 90.  The Evening Post of 8 June 1920 carried the Death Notice: “Cudby – On the 8th June, 1920, at his late residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, John Francis Cudby, relict of the late Janet Cudby, in his 91st year. R.I.P.”  The paper also had the following obituary:

MR. J. F. CUDBY
An early settler, who grew up with the Hutt district, Mr. John Francis Cudby, died at his residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, early this morning. Mr. Cudby’s interests from early youth had been in the Hutt Valley, and his history was the history of this fertile district. No one could tell its history better than he himself, for he had experienced the events and times of which he spoke and remembered them, even when he had reached the age where, with many men, the memory becomes dim. He was born in Essex in 1828, and came out to New Zealand with Lord Petre as a lad in 1843 in the ship Commerce Sparks. From the time of his arrival in the country to the day of his death, he resided at Lower Hutt. At first he lived and worked on the Woburn estate. Afterwards he became the owner of large livery stables near the railway station. He retired from active participation in the business some forty years ago, but continued to take a very lively interest in the affairs of the district. He possessed the hard, commonsense which was a distinguishing trait of many early settlers, and this made him a valued member of the Lower Hutt Borough Council for many years. He was also a member of the Licensing Committee, and as a Justice of the Peace for over thirty years was a familiar figure on the Hutt Magistrate’s Court Bench. He resigned from the Commission of the Peace two years ago. In the early days of the Wellington Racing Club he held the office of Clerk of the Course. In friendly society work he was a staunch supporter, and he held the record of seventy years’ membership of the Oddfellows Lodge. Mr. Cudby enjoyed good health, in spite of his years, until two years ago. He leaves a family of five sons and three daughters. The sons are: James, living at Lower Hutt; Charles, at Dannevirke; Henry, Alfredton; George, Rangiora; and Walter, Lower Hutt. The daughters are Mrs. J. Fleet, Petone; Mrs. Turner, Lower Hutt; and Mrs. E. D. Dunne, Wellington. Mrs. Cudby, who was also an early settler, having come out from Paisley, Scotland, in the Janet Nicol [sic], died twelve years ago. At the meeting, of the Hutt County Council this morning, a motion of sympathy was passed with the deceased’s relatives, the members standing as a mark of respect.

Jane and John had nine children:

  • James Cudby, born in 1852, died in 1923.
  • William Cudby, born in 1851, died in 1908, married Emily Frances Rivers in 1883.
  • Charles Cudby, born in 1854, died in 1942, married Emma Catherine McIntosh in 1882.
  • Emma Frances Cudby, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Joseph Frederick Fleet in 1884.
  • Henry Cudby, born in 1860, died in 1946.
  • George Cudby, born in 1862 (registration 1913), died in 1934, married Jane Muirhead in 1896.
  • Henrietta Cudby, born in 1864, died in 1955, married James Turner in 1890.
  • Walter Thomas Cudby, born in 1868, died in 1926.
  • Ada Winifred Cudby, born in 1871, died in 1958, married Edward Dowling Dunne in 1898.

Sources:

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James and Mary Brown

The Blenheim passenger lists recorded the Brown family as coming from Paisley and including:

  • James Brown, 28, labourer
  • Mary Brown, 30
  • Sarah Brown, 9
  • James Brown, 7
  • George Brown, 5
  • Elizabeth Brown 1½

Return to The Blenheim People.


James Brown and Mary Catherine Flynn

Based on family records listed in Ancestry.com, James Brown was born on 23 May 1806 in Abbey, Renfrewshire, to James Brown and Mary McKorkindale.  On 21 January 1831 he married Mary Catherine Flynn, who was born in County Wicklow, Ireland, in 1807.  The Old Parish Register for Abbey Parish, Renfrew, records that they were both of the parish and were married on 21 January 1831 by the Reverend Walter Blair, Paisley.

Following their arrival in New Zealand, James and Mary went on to have two more children:

  • David Brown, born in 1844, died in 1898.
  • Andrew Brown, born in 1846, died in 1926.

The Evening Post obituary for Elizabeth (see below), included a description of the family’s life in Wellington and the Hutt Valley, where they were the first European settlers in the Upper Hutt:

The voyage in the Blenheim terminated when that vessel anchored off Kaiwharawhara, and on landing there the Brown family were accommodated in a raupo whare provided for their use by the agent of the Kew Zealand Company. Shortly afterwards a removal was made to what is known as Alicetown, Lower Hutt, and at a later date to Belmont. The Brown family were the first settlers beyond the Silverstream-Taita Gorge — communication between these points being by means of a native track over the hills from Taita, across the stream in Stokes Valley, and again across the hills to where the Silverstream brickyards are now located. There was no way alongside the river on the eastern side, as the river ran close in to the hillsides there.
DETOUR AT TAITA. Having acquired possession of a piece of land extending from the neighbourhood of the Upper Hutt Post Office eastward beyond the Borough Council offices Mr. Brown proceeded to settle upon his holding and, placing his worldly goods upon a light dray trekked eastward towards Upper Hutt. The hills of Taita and Silverstream were impassable for wheeled traffic and the vehicle was taken apart, the wheels taken across separately, and the body slung on poles carried by the pioneer, assisted by a couple of stalwart settlers (Messrs. Galloway, of Pahautanui, and M’Ewan, of Rangitikei). On arrival at the eastern side of the gorge the vehicle was reassembled, and the kindly neighbours returned to their homes then at Lower Hutt. On arrival at Upper Hutt Mr. Brown erected a slab whare for his family, and covered it with a sail-cloth for a roof. He conducted the first tavern in the district, which was designated “The Shepherd,” and later on reconstructed and improved it, when it acquired the name of the “Criterion Hotel,” in which the Duke of Edinburgh stayed the night on the occasion of his visit to see the beauties of the Hutt River and native bush at the “Maori Bank.” A photograph of the hotel can be seen now in the Borough Council Chamber at Upper Hutt. The building, until recently temporarily occupied by the local Bank of Australasia, was the “stables” of the Criterion Hotel, and replaced the original stables which had been destroyed by fire on the night of the Duke’s visit. It has the honour of being the first store in Upper Hutt. The original business settlement having been established in the neighbourhood of the Oddfellows’ Hall, Trentham.

The Wellington Independent of 28 February 1871 included the Death Notice: “Brown – On Sunday, 26th February, at the Upper Hutt, Mr James Brown, after a severe and protracted illness, aged 61 years.”

Sarah Brown

The Old Parish Register for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that Sarah, daughter, legal, of James Brown, weaver, Cotton Street, and Mary Flynn was born on 5 March 1831 and registered on 31 March 1831.

Sarah Brown was listed as a child of 9 when she boarded the Blenheim for New Zealand.

Sarah Brown married James Wilson in 1849. The couple had 13 children:

  • Mary Wilson, born in 1850, died in 1905.
  • James Wilson, born in 1852.
  • William Henry Wilson, born in 1854, died in 1938, married Christine Charlotte Fagan in 1890.
  • John Wilson, born in 1856, died in 1923.
  • Elizabeth Wilson, born in 1858, died in 1921.
  • Joseph James Wilson, born in 1861, died in 1935, married Catherine McTaggart in 1897.
  • Alexander Francis Wilson, born in 1863, died in 1935, married Adelaide Sophia Worsfold in 1888.
  • George Wilson, born in 1865, died in 1923, married Lydia Mary Riley in 1904.
  • Annie Wilson, born in 1867, died in 1941, married James McLeod in 1892.
  • David Bernard Wilson, born in 1869, died in 1960, married Fanny Louisa Wilson in 1895.
  • Agnes Wilson, born in 1871, died in 1946.
  • Sarah Jane Wilson, born in 1873, died in 1957.
  • Emily Mary Wilson, born in 1875, died in 1946 (Sister Basil).

James Wilson died on 7 July 1912, aged 83.  The Hutt Valley Independent of 13 July 1912 had the following obituary for James Wilson:

JAMES WILSON: Mr. James Wilson, one of Upper Hutt’s early settlers, who for some years has resided in Rangitikei, died at Makino on Sunday last, being 83 years of age. Deceased had an eventful career. Bom in Ireland, he came 67 years ago to New Zealand with the 65th Regiment, and took part in Hone Heke’s war and several other campaigns. He afterwards settled at Upper Hutt, where he married a sister, of James Brown, sen, and Mrs. Alex Martin. While at Upper Hutt he acted as instructor to the local militia at the blockhouse in the rear of the Trentham post office. After farming at Upper Hutt for a number of years, he went to Makino, where he has resided for some thirty years past. Deceased had been ailing for the past five years. Mrs. Wilson, who is an invalid, survives her husband, with six sons and five daughters. The sons are Messrs. W. H. and J. (Feilding), J. J. (Christchurch), A. F. (Levin), G. E. (Auckland), and David (Wellington). Mrs. McLeod (Makino) is the eldest daughter, and the others are unmarried.

Sarah (Brown) Wilson also died in 1912.  The Feilding Star of 23 November 1912 carried the Death Notice:”Wilson – At Makino, on Nov. 22, Sarah, relict of the late James Wilson, R.I.P. No flowers by request.”

James Brown

James Brown was 7 when he emigrated to New Zealand on the Blenheim with his family.

After living in the Lower and Upper Hutt Valley with his family, in 1852 James set off for the Australian goldfields, being joined by his brother George.  They returned to the Hutt Valley by 1854 and began farming together.

James Brown. Photograph taken Sept 6th 1907 on his 74th birthday. [P3-11-48] http://uhcl.recollect.co.nz/nodes/view/1740#idx1693The Evening Post of 24 December 1913 carried an article entitled “Seventy-Three Years Ago”, which recalled the arrival of the Blenheim in 1840, and noted:

Of the 300 who came out in her only seven are now alive. One of these is Mr. James Brown, of Wellington (now 80 years of age), who lived at the Lower Hutt with his parents for seven years and then removed to the Upper Hutt, the family being the first settlers there. His brother (Mr. George Brown) and one of his sisters (Mrs. James Wilson), both of whom died 18 months ago, also came out in the Blenheim. In addition to Mr. James Brown, Mr. James Nicol (Masterton), Mrs. Miller (Carterton), Messrs. Donald Fraser and Cameron (Rangitikei), Mrs. A. Martin, sen. Upper Hutt), and Mr. Donald Cameron (Greytown], who were also passengers, are still alive.

The Dominion of 26 July 1916 carried the Death Notice: “Brown – At his late residence. 104 Abel Smith Street, Wellington, James Brown, late of Upper Hutt, aged 83 years. R.I.P.”

The Evening Post of 25 July 1916 carried the following obituary:

The company of the Blenheim immigrants, who landed here in 1841 suffered a further diminution yesterday by the death of Mr. James Brown. His father (Mr. James Brown, sen.) was one of the Port Nicholson settlers and lived for many years in the Hutt Valley, eventually settling at Upper Hutt. James Brown, the younger, took part in the early gold rushes, and was at Ballarat at the time of the riots. Finally he settled on the land, in partnership with his brothers George (since deceased) and Andrew. That was about 1854. The brothers experienced all the trials which confronted the early pioneers at a time when communication with other settlements was difficult, and the temper of the Natives was uncertain Mr. Brown retired from active work over a decade ago, and shortly afterwards came to reside in Wellington. Hence he was a well-known figure, especially amongst people who delighted to hear of the early history of the settlement of the province. Though 82 years of age, at the time of his death he was, till a few weeks ago, remarkably active, both physically and mentally. His reminiscences were always interesting. The illness which carried him off came upon him about three weeks ago. He was never married, and his nearest surviving relatives are Mr. Andrew Brown (a brother), and Mrs. Martin (a sister, and one of the Blenheim immigrants), both of whom reside at Upper Hutt.

George Brown

George Brown was 5 when he sailed to Wellington on the Blenheim.

After living in the Hutt valley with his parents he went off in 1853 to join his brother on the goldfields in Australia, but returned to the Hutt.  George Brown married Jemima Hunter on 9 May 1875, but they appear to have had no children. Jemima died in 1898.

The Dominion of 25 March 1912 carried the following obituary:

MR. GEORGE BROWN, J.P.: HUTT PIONEER. There passed away at 1 p.m. yesterday another of Wellington’s pioneers, in the person of Mr. George Brown, J. P., of Buller Street, who has been a resident of the district for the past seventy-two years. He was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1835, and sailed from the Clyde with his parents in the ship Blenheim, when five years of age, arriving here on the eve of the same year. With his parents, he resided in the Hutt Valley, working on the farm until May, 1853, when he went to join his brother, Mr. James Brown (also of Wellington), who a year previously had gone away to try his luck on the Victorian goldfields. The two brothers went through all the trials and hardships of life on the goldfields for five years, both in Australia and Otago. Finally the deceased returned to the Upper Hutt district, and turned his energies to farming, in which occupation he continued up till about six years ago, when he retired, and came to live in town. He always took an interest in public affairs, and represented the Mungaroa Riding on the Hutt County Council for twelve years, finally retiring on account of ill-health. His father, the late Mr. James Brown, owned and built the first hotel in the Upper Hutt, “The Shepherd’s Inn” (later known as The Criterion, but since demolished). Deceased was a member of the Hutt Licensing Committee, and took keen interest generally in advancing the district’s welfare. He was a valued member of tho S.P.C.A. up to the time of his death, and as a Justice of the Peace rendered good service to his district over a very long period. Like his father, he was one of the militiamen called out to meet the Maoris at Boulcott’s Farm, Lower Hutt, upon the historic occasion when Bugler Allen, “the boy hero”, died under such tragic circumstances, in giving a timely alarm to the settlers in the vicinity. Deceased, whose widow survives him, leaves numerous relatives and a big host of friends in this district.

The obituary carried in the Hutt Valley Independent of 30 March 1912, after providing details of the funeral service, gave some further details of George Brown’s life:

Deceased was born at Paisley, Scotland, in the year 1835, and left the Clyde, for New Zealand, on September 6, 1840, in the ship “Blenheim,” with his parents and a large company of other Scottish settlers, arriving at Wellington on Christmas Eve 1840. The family settled at the Hutt, and in 1853, he left for Australia, en route for the Victorian goldfields, to join his elder brother James, who had gone across the year previous. The two brothers remained on the goldfields for some five years, and took a prominent part in all the meetings which culminated in what are known in Australian history as the “Ballarat Riots.” Returning to New Zealand, he, with his brother David, and his, brother-in-law, James Wilson, went to the Otago Goldfields in 1860, and returned to Upper Hutt a couple of years later, where he resided with the other members of the family. From 1860 to 1870 he served in the Militia, which had been called out owing to the Maori troubles. In 1870, on the recommendation of the late Hon. Sir P. A. Buckley, Mr. G. Brown was appointed a Justice of the Peace. The deceased gentleman was married in 1872 to Jemima, the youngest daughter of the late Robert Hunter of Lower Hutt. For twelve years Mr. Brown represented the Mangaroa riding on the Hutt County Council, when he retired owing to failing health. As an active member of the committee of the Wellington Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Mr. Brown, after he took up his abode in the city, rendered valuable aid to Inspector Seed, who speaks enthusiastically of his work for the Society, The deceased gentleman, on all occasions took a lively part in local and general politics, he, in conjunction with his brother James, has been a generous friend to the Sisters of Mercy, and has proved an ardent supporter of the Catholic Church locally.

Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth Brown was only 1½ when she travelled on the Blenheim to New Zealand.

Elizabeth Brown married Alexander Gordon Martin on 18 April 1855, and the couple went on to have 12 children:

  • Jane Martin, born in 1855, died in 1942, married John Golder in 1877.
  • James Martin, born in 1857, died in 1945.
  • William Henry Martin, born in 1860, died in 1957.
  • Isabella Martin, born in 1862, died in 1945, married Patrick McGrath in 1905.
  • Mary Elizabeth Martin, born in 1864, died in 1904.
  • Thomas Martin, born in 1867, died in 1884.
  • Elizabeth Martin, born in 1869, died in 1929, married Timothy Moynihan in 1907.
  • Helen Martin, born in 1872, died in 1960.
  • Alexander Gordon Martin, born in 1874, died in 1910.
  • Emma Martin, born in 1876, died in 1948, married John Larmer in 1909.
  • David Martin, born in 1879, died in 1946.
  • John Alexander Martin, born in 1882, died in 1955.

Alexander Gordon Martin died on 27 May 1902 aged 68.

Elizabeth (Brown) Martin died on 6 December 1929.  The Evening Post of 23 December 1929 carried the following obituary:

MR. BROWN’S DRAY: PIONEERING STORY: FOUNDER OF UPPER HUTT: LAST CHILD DEAD AT 91 (Contributed.)

By the death of Mrs. Elizabeth Martin on Friday, 6th December, 1929 Upper Hutt lost the last original settler of a hardy pioneering Scots family. Born at Paisley, Scotland, 91 years ago, she left the Clyde in September, 1840, with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Brown, and other members of the family, arriving in Port Nicholson on 27th December, 1840.

[see above for a description of move to Upper Hutt]

MAORI TROUBLES—THE STOCKADE. Mrs. Martin had two brothers (James and George) and one sister, Sarah (Mrs. Wilson), older than herself, and two brothers, David and Andrew, born in New Zealand, all of whom predeceased her. The deceased lady, though sorely troubled with rheumatism in later life, retained all her faculties until a few hours before her death, and could speak clearly and with wonderful detail upon historical and domestic matters of the Hutt Valley from the sea eastward. She gave vivid pictures of the many hardships and anxieties of the pioneers; of the floods of the Hutt River—half-a-dozen a year—when the water ran through their house in the Lower Valley; of the first bridge over the Hutt River; of the Maori troubles and the early morning attack on Boulcott’s Farm outpost, when Bugler Allen was killed while sounding the alarm; of the building of the stockade at Trentham near what is now known as “Quinn’s Post” Hotel; the local bushfire fights, and the several sawmilling industries of the district— three mills operating at the same time between Whiteman’s Valley road and the Upper Hutt Catholic Church on the main road frontage.

Mrs. Martin was of a kindly nature and ever willing to help anyone in need. She was a keen gardener, and her residence was surrounded with choice plants and flowers, and was one of the beauty spots of the Upper Hutt. She was the first lady elector to record a vote at a Parliamentary election in the upper end of the Hutt Valley. Her husband, Mr. Alexander Martin, a native of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, died 27 years ago. Of her family of twelve there are nine still living. The sons are James, of Upper Hutt, for many years connected with the New Zealand Railways; William, of New Plymouth, farmer; David, of Wanganui, of the White Star Motor Service; and John, of Hastings, fruit expert; and the daughters are Jane (Mrs. Golder), of Upper Hutt; Isabel (Mrs. M’Grath), Elizabeth (Mrs. Monihan), of Wellington; Emma (Mrs. Larmer) and Helen, of Upper Hutt. There are 42 grandchildren and 53 great-grandchildren.


Sources:

Photographs:

  • Upper Hutt Library, Recollect, James Brown Jnr, from Alexander Turnbull Library, 592 1/11