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Letter from Marianne Williams to Jane Williams , October 15, 1845

documentary heritage
  • Description

    Marianne writes of their domestic and private lives during the Northern War. She begins with the slanderous comments made by Archdeacon Brown about her son, Joseph, who he declared to be "most disagreeable and the most spoilt child in New Zealand". Marianne goes on to complain of the slowness of the mail service, particularly between Waimate and Turanga (Gisborne).

    In a second instalment dated October 29th, Marianne is especially concerned with the lateness of news, such as word of Governor Grey's arrival. She also complains that a box sent by Jane Williams, which contained a number of gifts and garments, had been lost. Printer and naturalist Mr William Colenso is briefly mentioned. She writes "what sort of a composition can Mr Colenso's heart be or has he only a place where one ought to be. I pity his wife and I pity you all to have to do with him." She then embarks on a commentary of the continuing conflict between British troops and Maori in the North. She writes of her husband, Henry Williams awaiting a written order from Captain Despard, in order to initiate peace talks with Te Ruki Kawiti. Although, she writes, he would not act without a written order; he had responded to Kawitis letters and visited him at Ruapekapeka. She writes of the 'men of war' landing at Kororareka and of the decimation of the Waimate. Mr Bedgegoods and Mr Wades homes had been burnt down, Captain Despard had occupied Mr Dudley's home, while cattle and camps occupied the Busby's lawn. Various mentions of the slaughter, purchase, and supply of cattle are made. Other Church Missionary Society matters, such as the appointment of Mr Mathews to Kaitaia, and the school are also briefly touched upon. Finally, Marianne writes of the dinner parties and afternoon tea shared with the Clendon, King and Clarke families, as well as the time the family spent caring for their beehives, and the excitement of a "gay native wedding."

  • Other Id

    14469 (Presto content ID)

    MS-1991-75-781 (Reference Number)

  • Department

Images and documents


  • Object Type
  • Name/Title
    Letter from Marianne Williams to Jane Williams , October 15, 1845
  • Primary Maker
  • Date
  • Physical Description

    6pp on 1 leaf ; 235mm x 373mm

  • Language
  • Collection
  • Level of Current Record
  • Is Part Of
  • Public Access Text

    [Keywords: Correspondence, Colonialism, The Northern War, First Maori War, Missionary schools, Cross-written]

  • Last Update
    07 Dec 2023
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