First Maori War 1845 to 1847

First Maori War 1845-1847

Contemorary drawings & watercolours of 15 war scenes

Transcripts from The New Zealander
7 June 1845  14 June 1845   12 July 1845   24 Jan 1846   19 Dec 1846

Saturday, 7 June 1845

        In this, our first number, we have given a narrative of all the events, which have occurred at the Bay of Islands, from the commencement of the rebellious proceedings of Hone Heke down to the present time, inclusive of the despatches of Lieut. Colonel Hulme to His Excellency the Governor, which were published in the last Gazette.
       We have adopted this course, in order that the columns of this Journal shall record, fully an event and its consequences, which must, most deeply affect the future history of this Colony.
        On Sunday evening last, the barque British Soverign, arrived from Sydney, with the head-quarters of the 99th Regiment, and following officrs: - Lieutenant-Colonel Despard, Major Macpherson, Lieut. and Adjutant Dearing, Lieutenants Beattie, Johnson, Dr. Galbraith, Ensigns Symonds and Blackburn, Dr. Meen, and 200 rank and file.
        The brig Victoria, and the schooner Velocity, having on board troops, sailed, on Tuesday evening, for the Bay of Islands ; and it is anticipated, that nearly the whole of the forces, now in Auckland ; will follow this day, under the command of Colonel Despard. They will be accompanied by four guns, under the command of Lieutenant Wilmot, Royal Artillery, son of Sir Eardley Wilmot, Lieut-Governor of Van Diemens' Land, who lately arrived from Hobart Town, with Messrs. Boyd and Kerr, retired officers of the same Corps, as volunteers on service in this Colony.
        We think the cold wet season far advanced, for field operations in New Zealand, and unless very prompt advantage is taken of the fine weather, before the full moon, great difficulty in proceeding in the bush, and severe privation to the troops will occur.
        The latest accounts from the Bay of Islands state, that Hone Heke has intimated to the Government that he is anxious for peace ; but not less inclined to carry on the war, if His Excellency the Governor prefers fighting.- He states that he has been sufficently punished, by the destruction of his pahs, his canoes, his provisions, and the loss of so many of his followers - for the little crime, which he has committed, of cuting down the Flag staff : to which, he was instigated, he declares, by French and American people, who told him that the English would enslave, ultimately, all the natives. Heke likewise urges, that the lives of all the Pakehas, at Koroarika, were at his mercy, and that he prevented, not only the slaughter of those who left it, but also of the Missionaries and others, who have remained. He is anxious, that the Government should let him and Nene fight out their own quarrels and not interfere. However rebellious and unlawful the conduct of Heke, it is very far different to that of Kowaiti and Pomare. Heke displays a nobleness of character, with feelings that, under other circumstances, would be deemed patriotic ; and he has, certainly, proved himself not only anguinary as many applauded heroes of civilized nations.
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        On Thursday, the 4th July, 1844, the Chief Hone Heke of the Nga Pui tribe, with considerable numbers of natives assembled at the mouth of the river Waitangi, at the Bay of Islands, avowing it was their intention to proceed to Russell, in consequence of some abusive language applied to Hone Heke by a native woman, the wife of an European named Lord, in order to obtain, according to their native customs, compensation for the insult. The Protector of Aborigines, Mr. Kemp, prevented them from fulfilling their intentions, on that evening, and on the following morning, in conjunction with other Magistrates, and Nene (Tomaiti Waka), the Chief of the Nga-ti-hao of Hokianga, to relinquish his intentions, and after much consultation, it was understood, that Heke would be content to take away the woman, until she should be redeemed by the required payment, for the insult, of a cask of tobacco. On the same evening the natives had a war dance, and at night broke into the house of Mr. Caffer, contignous to that of Mr. Lord. The next day, Saturday, the natives commenced plundering the houses of several of the inhabitants, and threatened to violate the persons of two or three females. The Sunday passed quietly, but by daylight, on Monday morning, they assembled in a body, and carried into effect, that which they had long been threatening; the destruction of the Government Flag-staff, - which they accomplished by cutting it down, and burning part of it, carrying away the signal balls, and the remaining part of the staff. The only reason they gave for destroying the flag-staff was, because they said it prevented American vessels from coming into the harbour.
        In consequence of this insurrection, and insult to the British Flag, by the natives, the local Government immediately despatched vessels from Auckland to Sydney and Hobart Town to obtain military reinforcements, and in the second week of August, the barque ‘Sydney’ arrived at Bay of Islands, from New South Wales, with 160 troops; and on the 24th of the same month, His Excellency the Governor arrived there also with H.M.S. ‘Hazard’, and the Government brig ‘Victoria’, accompanied by a detachment of the 96th Regiment, under Colonel Hulme, from Auckland. The troops were landed and encamped in Matoni bay, and every necessary preparation was made, to act with immediate hostility against the natives, when many of the high Chiefs residing in the Bay of Isalnds and neighbourhood who had entirely disapproved of the rebellious proceedings of Hone Heke and his tribe, intimated through the Chief Protector, Mr. Clarke and the Missionaries resident at the Bay of Islands, their desire to have a conference with His Excellency the Governor, in order to prevent if possible, actual collision between the Europeans and the natives. Accordingly on the 2nd of September, His Excellency the Governor with Colonel Hulme, the Captain of H.M.S. ‘Hazard’, and other Officers, met the chiefs, assembled at Waimate; in the pressence of the Bishop of New Zealand, Archdeacon Williams, and several clergymen; when His Excellency addressed them as follows:
        ‘‘ Friends, Chiefs, and Elders, - I salute you kindly. I am glad to meet you. I wish that you may enjoy peace and prosperity. My interest in your welfare is great and lasting. My heart's desire is to do you good.
        ‘‘ I am come here to talk to you about matters of great importance to yourselves; and I have much to say. Have patience.
        ‘‘ The subject uppermost in my mind, as in your own, is that which has caused this meeting.
        ‘‘ About six weeks ago, the town of Kororarika was disturbed by a party of young men, headed by Hone Heke, who alarmed and insulted the inhabitants ; broke into, and ransacked a house, carried away a native woman, the wife of Mr. Lord, and cut down the Government flag-staff.
        ‘‘ Had not the inhabitants been most peaceable, and forbearing, lives might have been lost, and then, what would have been the consequence ?
        ‘‘ But although no life was lost, thanks be to God ; and although there were circunstances tending to diminish part of the blame attached to Heke, there was undobtedly much meaning attached to the act of cutting down the flag-staff ; which it is my particular duty to notice seriously.
        ‘‘ The conduct of Heke and his party, while at Kororarika, was so unbearable that it obliged me to place soldiers there.
        ‘‘ I will now speak of the flag-staff, in itself it is worth noting, a mere stick ; but as connected with the British Flag, of very great importance.
        ‘‘ I have heard that Heke and a few others have said, that the British Flag has done them harm, and it was for that reason they cut down the staff. I have also been told that some persons have been suspicious of the British Flag, and doubtful of our intentions. It is the existence of this feeling that I consider so injurious to your welfare, - so necessary to be removed.
         ‘‘ The more fully and openly the matter is discussed the better. There is nothing to conceal or disguise. The more plainly we talk about this matter, the more thoroughly shall we remove these suspicions and doubts which have been raised in the minds of Heki and some others, by designing and wicked Pakehas ; by persons who care not what disasters, what violence, what ruin may be brought on yourselves.
         ‘‘ I do not blame Heki and those who acted with him, nearly so much as those bad Pakehas who poisoned his mind with their false and malicious assertions. I believe that Heki himself would take a very different view of the subject, if he had heard the whole truth; if he had heard all that I and others have to tell you openly, - defying contradiction.
         ‘‘ I will begin by reminding you that only thirty years ago, you were wild barbarians, utterly unlike Christians, utterly uncivilized. I need not say more, for you well know what you were then. A few ships visited your country, and your sad condition was told to good men in other parts of the world. Some few of those good men collected money from their friends ; brought tools and clothing, and came to this land to teach you to be like themselves ; to be Christians, knowing the way to salvation, civilized, peaceable and happy : enjoying life in this world, and preparing for a better. Those good men had no other object in view, They were even thought very foolish by their countrymen for risking their lives, and as it was said, throwing away their existence among the most barbarous of the human race.
        ‘‘ Those men were not then known, they were not heard of by the British Government, till after they had been many years in this land. They had never any kind of connection with the Government.
        ‘‘ After those good men had taught you to behave kindly to strangers, many people came to trade with you, and among them came some bad men, who did much harm. The mischief done by those bad men was told to King William in a letter from yourselves.
        ‘‘ The King of England sent Mr. Busby to stop such mischief, and send away the bad strangers. But Mr. Busby could not do so, because he had not force to support his authority.
        ‘‘ About the time other great nations of the world began to talk about New Zealand. Those great nations were France, America, and Russia. The ships of those nations are very numerous, and their power is irresistible by those nations who have neither ships, guns, powder, nor shot of their own.
        ‘‘ Formerly European nations attacked and conquered countries inhabited by uncivilized men, and to their everlasting disgrace, killed numbers of their men. But England acted differently, England determined to save and protect the inhabitants of New Zealand. King William was asked to send ships, and soldiers to take away part of New Zealand by force, he refused, and said he would protect the native of New Zealand, and guard their lands. He never would allow those dreadful scenes to be repeated in New Zealand which had eternally disgraced other countries.
        ‘‘ About this time the French prepared an expedition to this country ; and to save the men of this land from such usage as might be feared from that nation; from such a fate as that which has since befallen Tahiti and the Marquesa Isalands ; to save them also from the acts of lawless Pakehas, who were settling in various parts of the country ; the British Government proposed to take New Zealand under the protection of that flag of which we have been speaking, the only security that would be effectual. Without such protection it was probable that the New Zealanders would soon be exterminated. In order to protect them effectually, he offered to make them a part of the great British family - the greatest nation in the world : to give them all the advantages of English laws ; but not to interfere with their own laws against their consent, while affecting only themselves. His offers were gladly accepted by the greater number of the Chiefs ; and the consequence has been, that no one injures or molests them; that their lands are secured to them, and that they are perfectly free.
        ‘‘ The British flag is the signal of freedom, liberty and safety. That flag is considered most sacred, because it defends and protects us. In sharing its advantages with you, we make you our brothers ; we place you on equal terms with ourselves. Every advantage that we obtain from that flag, is open to you, and we are instructing you how to make use of those advantages. Can we do more. No.
        ‘‘ But I have found out  that some of the regulations of the Government about ships, and goods brought in them, have been injurious, have done harm to those who live near the Bay of Islands.
        ‘‘ Being truly desirous of promoting the welfare of the settlers among you, and yourselves; I have altered those regulations ; and you will in future be able to trade freely with all ships.
        ‘‘ You must remember that disturbances, and bad conduct to Europeans, make ships, settlers, and traders, go to other places, and forsake you. To keep them among yourselves, you should always treat them kindly ; never alarm them, but assist them when in trouble.  Disturbances, insults, or other annoyances must drive away even your best friends : and if they were to leave you must you not become destitute, wanting everything.
        ‘‘ The Queen of England is the Protector and Defender of all who belong to her nation. By means of her Government, her soldiers and her ships, she protects their lands, their property, and their lives.
        ‘‘ In order to enable her to protect your land, against those who would buy more from you than you could spare, without distressing your children, an agreement was made at Waitangi, that no land should be sold without the consent of the Queen. This much for your advantage.
        ‘‘Let me now remind you of the immense sums of monery subscribed for you every year in England : for the support of your teachers : for your instruction and improvement.
        ‘‘ All this has been done for you without your being able to make any return for such disinterested exertions, except that of yearly progress and improvement.
        ‘‘ It is necessary I should tell you that some years ago, the natives of Tahiti asked the King of England for his protection and assistance, but he refused to comply. He refused to join Tahiti to the great English family.
        ‘‘ What has been the fatal consequence ? They hoisted their own flag, which was of no use to them ; and the French sent large ships full of soldiers ; who have taken possession of the land, after killing numbers, hundred of natives. The French have done the same at the Marquesa Islands; and if it were not for the security you have in the brotherhood of England, they might do the same here.
        ‘‘ Ask your oldest, and most trusted friends, about these things, ask the oldest Missionaries.
        ‘‘ The guns, and powder, and shot, and clothes of the natives of these countries soon go, and if men-of-war prevent more from coming, how can such powerful enemies be resisted for any length of time !
        ‘‘ It made me very sad; it made my heart sick, to be obliged to bring soldiers and war-ships here, on account of bad conduct ; but I cannot allow such behaviour, or such insults as those of Heki, to pass unatoned for. I am very desirous of acting in such matters in concert with the principal Chiefs. I wish to consult them on all important occasions.
        ‘‘ My wish is for peaceable measures ; although I am prepared to act otherwise, but with your help, under God's providence, we shall succeed in our object of restraining the ill-conducted and checking the bad men.
        ‘‘ I have consulted about this matter of Heki's misconduct with several Chiefs, and he has written me a letter of apology, about the flag-staff, and offered to put up another. I shall now only require further, that a cettain number of guns be delivered up as an atonement. I shall not demand many, because I only wish to mark the nature of his offence by a public acknowledgement, not by any acquisition of property belonging to him or his friends.
        ‘‘ I shall therefore only require now that ten guns be immediately given up to me."
        Several Chiefs spang up, and went away to their places, and brought about twenty guns, and many tomahawks, which they laid at the Governor's feet, telling him he might have more if he chose.
         After the guns had been so delivered, His Excellency again shortly adressed the Chiefs giving them to understand that it was not his wish to make any profit for the Government by the crimes of any of the Natives. He asked the guns as an acknowledgment of the error committed by Heki. In themselves, they were of no value. The Government did not want their guns and their property, and to convince them of that he would return the guns to themselves, being satisfied with the acknowledgment they had made ; and he trusted in their good sense and kindly feelings that no future disturbances would occur, but that they should all live together as friends and brethren. He regretted the necessity of sending for the soldiers, and hoped their future good conduct would prevent his being obliged to send for more soldiers to their country.
        Many of the Chiefs then addressed His Excellency, expressive of their satisfaction of the manner in which the matter had been arranged.
        The Bishop, Archdeacon Williams, the Rev. Mr. Maunsell, and the Rev. Mr. Hamlin, then addressed the natives at considerable length, and His Excellency appointed an hour the following day to meet some of the Chiefs, who were anxious to obtain information on the subject of their lands, such as the right of selling to Pakehas, and the decision as to whom should obtain the surplus land of the claimants. A meeting accordingly took place early next day, when all these matters were freely and amicably discussed ; and settled to the entire satisfaction ofthe Natives.
        Before leaving Waimate, His Excellency received the following letter from Heke, the disaffected Chief :
 ‘‘ Friend Governor. - This is my speech to you. My disobedience and rudeness is no new thing, I inherit it from my parents, from my ancestors, do not imagine that it is a new feature in my character, but I am thinking of leaving off my rude conduct towards the Europeans. Now I say that I will prepare another pole, inland at Waimate, and I will erect it at its proper place at Kororarika, in order to put an end to our present quarrel. Let your soldiers remain beyond the sea, and at Auckland, do not send them here. The pole that was cut down, belonged to me, I made it for the native flag, and it was never paid for by the Europeans. From your fried,

                                              (signed)     HONE HEKE POKAI.

        Witness:   Rainga Taunga, -
                         William Haw. - Te Hirapure.
        Wimate, July 19, 1844.

        In consequence of the amicable termination of the proceedings, the troops returned immediately, in the same vessels which brought them, to New South Wales. The Bay of Isalnds was, immediately, declared a free port, and on the meeting of the Legislative Council at Auckland, on the 19th September, His Excellency brought in a Bill, which was passed, for the abolition of Customs throughout the colony.
        Early in the month of October further disturbances took place at the Bay of Isalnds. The chief constable went to apprehend a man named Buyers, whose native wife endeavoured to close the door of her house, when the constable thrust his sword through it, and cut the woman's hand ; the tribe called on the Magistrates for redress, and obtaining none, they took eight horses from Captain Wright, who was quite unconnected with the affair ; two of the horses they obtained by breaking open the stable, and threatened to shoot Captain Wright if he resisted. By the interference of the Chief Protector and the Police Magistrate, the horses were subsequently restored.
        The natives continued to be very troublesome to the out-settlers at the Bay of Islands : they were chiefly young men, unconnected with any of the old and powerful chiefs. Four horses, belonging to Captain Kingstone, were taken by some natives of the Kawa-kawa tribe, and no redress was obtained from them.
 At the commencement of the present year, very daring outrage, robbery, and personal violence, were committed at Matakama, about 25 miles from Auckland, to the Northward, which may be said to have taken place in consequence of similar acts at the Bay of Islands. On the 6th January, four Europeans, had their cottages cottages broken open, and plundered of every thing, leaving them perfectly destitute of clothing and bedding.
         Immediately on the information reaching Auckland, the Governor issued the following

By His Excellency, Robert Fitzroy, Esq., Governor of New Zealand, &c. &c.

        Whereas an act of depredation has lately been committed at the Bay of Islands by the Kawakawa tribe : for which sufficient atonement has not been made by the aggressors :
 And whereas a flagrant robbery accompanied by personal violence has been committed at Matakana, by the Wangarei tribe.
        And whereas, if such acts of lawlessness are not checked, there will be no security for settlers at a distance from military protection :
        I, the Governor, do hereby proclaim and declare, that until all property taken away from Mr. Hingston, at the Bay of Islands ; and from Mr. Millon, and others, at Matakana, is restored to them : until sufficient compensation is made for the injures sustained : and until the Chiefs Parehoro, Mate, and Kokou are delivered up to justice : I will not consent to waive the Crown's right of pre-emption over any lands belonging to the Kawakawa or Wangarei tribes, or to any tribe which may assist or harbour the said Chiefs.
        And I hereby proclaim, that upon the delivery of the aforesaid Chiefs, or either of them, into the custody of the Police Magistrate at Auckland, I will cause the sum of fifty pounds for each chief, or one hundred and fifty pounds for all three Chiefs to be immediately paid for his or their apprehension and delivery.
        I also hereby warn all persons, Europeans and Natives, that their assisting or harbouring the said Chiefs, or other persons concerned in perpetrating outrages, will render themselves liable to be proceeded against according to law.
        And I further proclaim, that the strongest measures will be adopted ultimately, in the event of these methods being found insufficient.

Given  &c. &c.
                January 8, 1845
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         Almost simultaneously with the outrages at Matakana, the Flag staff was cut down, again, by Hone Heke, at Russell, on the 10th January, 1845 ; and the Governor put forth the following

By His Excellency Robert Fitzroy, Esq., Governpr of New Zealand. &c. &c.

        Whereas a serious outrage was committed at Russell, on 10th January, inst., by the Chief John Heki, and a party of natives, in defence of the Queen's authority, and in opposition to Her Majesty's laws.
        Now I, the Governor, do hereby proclaim and declare, that in order that the said John Heki may be dealt with according to law, I will cause the sum of One Hundred Pounds to be immediately paid for his apprehension, on his delivery into the custody of the Police  Magistrate at Russell, or the Police Magistrate at Auckland. And I do hereby give public notice, that any person or persons, European or Native, who may be found assisting, harbouring or concealing the said John Heki, will be proceeded against according to law.
        And I further call upon all persons to be aiding and assisting the Civil power in apprehending the said offender, in order that he may be brought to trial.

Given, &c. &c.

            January 15, 1845

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        The flag staff was reinstated by order of the Police Magistrate; but was cut down the third time by Heke, before the Government Brig, ‘Victoria’, arrived at the Bay of Islands, with a detachment of troops, consisting of a Subaltern, and 30 privates of the 96th Regiment, which were despatched from Auckland, on the 16th January. On the 25th, a further detachment of one Sergeant, and ten privates of the 96th Regt., was sent to Russell from Auckland.
        H.M.S. ‘Hazard’, Captain Robertson, arrived at Auckland, on the 9th February, and sailed for the Bay of Isalnds on the 12th.
        At the commencement of the month of March, the natives committed various acts of robbery and outrage on the inhabitants of Kororarika, (Russell), and became glaringly hostile in their conduct. The Boats of H.M.S. ‘Hazard’ were fired upon by them ; and in consequence, Lieut. Barclay, with ten privates of the 96th, were dispatched to the Bay of Islands, from Auckland, on the 6th March.
        Hone Heke was at this time, joined by Kowaiti, a powerful Chief of the Kawakawa tribe, whose designs were totally different :- the former, declaring that his intent was simply against the Flag staff and the soldiers ; and that the inhabitants of Kororarika and their property, would remain untouched by him : the latter, had long declared his enmity to Europeans, and his avowed object was outrage and plunder. Notice had been given, by Heke, that on Tuesday, the 11th March, he should fulfil his treats, and again attack the flag staff : and measures were consequently taken by the Commanders of the Military and H.M.S. ‘Hazard,’ in concert with the inhabitants, for the defence of the place. On the Monday, the fears of the inhabitants were in some degree allayed, by the Rev. Mr. Williams informing them, that he had seen the natives, and they had assured him, that they had at present no hostile intention ; the inhabitants were therefore lulled into false security. Before dawn, however about half past 4 o'clock, on Tuesday, the 11th March, the natives, about 11,00 strong, came down on Kororarita intwo directions ; Heki's party proceeding over the hills, towards the flag staff, and blockhouse:-and Kowaiti and the Kawakawa tribe, attempting to enter the town by the Matoui road.
        This pass was most gallantly defended by Captain Robertson, with about thirty seamen and marines of H.M.S. ‘Hazard,’ against repeated attacks of Kowaiti and his tribe, amounting to some hundreds. There were two blockhouses on the hills behind the town, the upper one at the flag staff, was defended by a party of the 96th Regiment, under Ensign Campbell, who were surprised at the very commencement of the action, by Heki and his natives, and expelled from it : the lower blockhouse commanded and protected the town ; in front of this blockhouse were two guns, which were admirably worked under the command and assistance of Mr. Hector. In the town, the house of Mr. Polack had been surrounded by a stockade, and had been approriated to the purposes of a magazine and store, as well as place of refuge for the whole of the inhabitants. This was head quarters, and principal post of defence for the town, but unfortunately, soon after noon, it was blown up, by some accidental firing of the magazine.
        The troops and inhabitants, unable to maintain themselves in the town, after loss of the upper blockhouse, and destruction of the stockade, embarked in the afternoon, on board the different vessels, and the town of Russell was immediately taken possession of, and plundered by the natives.
        The following official despatches detail the proceedings of the Military and Naval forces.

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                                                                                                      Russell, March 11, 1845, on board
                                                                                                             H.M.S. Hazard, 5 P.M.
        Sir, - I have the honour to inform Your Excellency, that about 4 o'clock this morning, the town was attacked on all sides, by a party of about two thousand armed natives.
        The small arm men and marines of H.M.S. ‘Hazard,’ under command of Captain Robertson, (who I am sorry to say is dangerously wounded,) endeavoured to drive them back, but in consequence of the block house being surprised and taken, his party were obliged to retire into the stockade in the town.
        Soon afterwards a simultaneous attack was made, and a heavy fire was maintained on both sides for three hours, when the assailants were replulsed, and retired to the hills, where they remained.
        At one o'clock, the magazine in the stockade unfortunately exploded, and several persons were severely hurt and confused. The greatest portion of our ammunition being exhausted by this fearful circumstance, it was deemed advisable to embark the inhabitants and troops, and evacuate the town, which was then immediately entered by the natives, who are now busily engaged in plundering.
        I am sorry to state that the casulties on the part of the Europeans have been very great.
        The greatest praise is due to the Officers and crew of H.M.S. Hazard, for their conduct on this occasion.

I have, &c. &c.
Police Magistrate

        To His Excellency the Governor
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H.M.S. Hazard.
                                                         Bay of Islands, March 11, 1845
        Sir, - I have the honour to inform you that the forces have had a severe encounter with the natives this day, in which Acting Commander David Robertson was wounded in several places, I fear mortally, and acting Lieut. Edward Morgan, was wounded slightly.
        Our party considered of about 150 induviduals. The whole of the Naval and Marine Forces belonging to the Ship behaved in a manner that elicits my warmest approbation. The place could have been maintained, had not the blockhouse, the key to our position, been surprised, and taken in the morning.
        About one o'clock the magazine in the stockade was blown up, wounding several persons, and the ammunition being completely expended, I deemed it advisable to order the inhabitants and troops to embark.
        Many of the land forces have been severely wounded, and some killed, the particulars of which I have not as yet been able to ascertain.
        This despatch has been written in extreme haste, owing to my anxiety to see the women and children shipped on board the different small vessels that I have been able to obtain.

I have, &c. &c.
Lieut. in Command during the illness of the Acting Commander.

To His Excellency the Governor.

              KILLED                                         WOUNDED
Marines  1 Sergeant                          Com. Robertson, dangerously.
    "          1 Private                             Lieut Morgan, slightly.
Seamen   4                                         Seamen 15

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                                                                                   H.M.S. Hazard, March 15th, 1845
        Sir. - I have the honour to report that between the hours of 4 and 5 o'clock on the 11th instant, Captain Robertson, of H.M.S. Hazard, with about 45 seamen and marines, proceeded from their quarters on shore, for the night at Kororarika, Bay of Isalnds, to a hill on the right of the road, leading to Matavia Bay, commanding the town, for the purpose of throwing up an entrenchment ; the morning was thick and hazy.
        On their departure I proceeded to the barracks, by way of a precaution, to turn out the detachment; not having at the same time any reason to suspect a movement on the part of the natives to attack the town. Captain Robertson had arrived on the hill, when they were attacked by about 200 natives. The detachment having slept armed and accoutred arms loaded, formed immediately in front of the barracks, when Mr. Mowbroy, and Mr. Spain, R.N., came to me, and begged of me not to fire on the party in front, which I was about to do, as they had been cut off from their party, and then knew not which, the seamen or the natives were nearest to us. I then immediately commenced firing in extended order on parties of natives who made their appearance, scattered on the hill to the left of the barracks, towards Onoro beach, and checked their advance on the barracks ; we were also fired upon from the rising ground behind the barracks. On looking round, I was first aware that the natives had possession of the blockhouse on Flag-staff hill.
        At the time I received a message from Lieut. Morgan, R.N., informing me that a party of natives were at the church, at the back of the town ; I advanced in extended order to dislodge them, firing in our way upon natives who appeared amongst the houses in our front. I then learnt, I forgot from whom, that the seamen had nearly expended their ammunition, and turned back towards the beach to join them, when they appeared at some distance from the beach as on their way to the stockade, (Mr. Polack's house), advancing towards us, having effectually driven back the natives, who I observed retiring down the road to Matavia Bay, I then moved on to the lower blockhouse which commands the stockade, which the seamen soon took possession of, and in which were the town's people and the women and children ; I found Ensign Campbell and his party in the blockhouse, checking the advance of the body of natives who were in possession of Flag-staff hill, and the gullies between the upper and lower blockhouses ; I did not enter the blockhouse then or afterwards ; I remained outside on a platform in front, where the seamen from the Hazard were working two ship guns assisted by Mr. Hector, and two of the town's people, (old soldiers I believe;)  my party commenced firing, there was room for no more on the platform, they fired from the sloping ground on each side of the blockhouse, towards the rear of the building, also on the natives on the adjoining hill behind Mr. Beckham's house, this hill is deeply covered with brushwood, a very sharp fire was kept up by the natives, which was well and effectually returned by us, this continued all the morning, two or three of the seamen joined us ; a party of my detachment also assisted Mr. Campbell in the blockhouse, as many as had room, the remainder were in the stockade, with the seamen and town's people, commanded by Lieut. Phillpotts, R.N.
        After a considerable time, I went down to the stockade to get some ammunition for the ship guns, and left Ensign Campbell in charge. The natives soon after ceased firing, nor was it afterwards renewed, it had lasted for some hours.
        Immediately on my arrival at the stockade to obtain ammunition, I suggested to Captain Robertson, the urgent necessity of sending the women and children on board the ship's in the harbour, seeing Mr. Pollack's house and cellars were crowded with them ; shortly after, they got on board, the magazine which was in the same house, blew up ; the building was completely destroyed, but none of the soldiers or seamen were injured ; Lieut. Morgan, R.N., received a slight wound in the face by a splinter ; whether the explosion occurred by accident, or was the work of an incendiary remains unknown.
        A council was held on board H.M.S. Hazard, when it was agreed to evacuate the town, which was done, the town's people embarking first, the party of military in the blockhouse, were the last to embark. During the embarkation, the natives surrounded the heights commanding the town, but without making any movement, occasionally a random shot was fired ; during the evening, a few of the town's people, who were I believe, most popular with the natives, were employed in bring off portions of their property.
        In the afternoon of the following day, the natives burnt the town, with the exception of the Churches, and the houses of the missonaries ; information was received that they intended attacking H.M.S. Hazard during the night, every precation was accordingly made by Lieut. Phillpotts, commanding, the attack was not made. Next Day the Hazard sailed for Auckland, in company with the U.S. corvette, St. Louis, the whale ship Matilda, and the Dolphin, schooner, having on board the inhabitants of the town.
        Killed of the 96 Regiment, at the blockhouse on Flag-staff hill; 4 privates, viz:- Miller, Giddens, Jackson and Judson.
        Wounded - Private Durop, at the lower blockhouse, dangerously; private Welton, in the town, severely ; private Gutludge, severely ; private Scott, severely ; private Morris, severely.
        The conduct of the soldiers throughout the affair, was in every way praiseworthy, and honourable to themselves and the regiment.
        It is with feelings of deep regret that I have to report that the gallant Commander of H.M.S. Hazard fell in the first attack, severely wounded.
        The Sergeant of Marines, a private, and four seamen were killed.
        Mr. Tapper, the signal man, was severely wounded, fighting bravely.
        I would here notice the very gallant conduct of Mr. Hector, and the two old settlers before mentioned, in assisting in working the guns in front of the lower blockhouse, yet little execution was done by them, in consequence of the natives being so scatteted, and lying concealed in the brushwood. Mr. Hector's two boys also behaved most gallantly, in bring up ammunition from the stockade during the heaviest fire.
        I have the honour to enclose a statement of the duties of the detachment on the 10th inst., also Ensign Campbell's statement of the loss of the blockhouse on Flag-staff hill.

                                                                   I have the honour to be, Sir,
                                                                        Your obedient humble servant,
                                                                                  E.  BARCLAY.
       To Lieut. Colonel Hulme,                             Lieut. 96th Regiment,
           Commanding Troops,                             Commanding Detachment.
                New Zealand.

N.B.   I am of opinion, that had the lower blockhouse, occupied by the military, not been erected, the stockade in which the women and children had sought protection, must have been evacuated, but was perfectly commanded by the hill on which the blockhouse stood ; the houses to the left would also have afforded protection to the natives in attacking it. Great credit is attached to Mr. Watson, J.P., who first suggested the erection of the lower blockhouse, and superintended the erection of it. The body of natives who occupied the chain of hills on which the Flag-staff and upper blockhouse stood, might have made a general rush, had they been so inclined on the stockade, but were prevented from doing so, by our having possession of the blockhouse.
                                                                                 E. BARCLAY
                                                                                Lieut. 96th Regt.

___________o __________

        Sir,- I have the honour to state, for your information, that on the morning of the 11th instant, at Kororarika, Bay of Islands, I proceed about four o'clock in the morning, with a party of five men from the blockhouse, where I was stationed, armed and carrying spades to dig a trench on the heights over Oneroa Beach.
        We had just commenced digging, when we heard firing in Matavia Bay, we immediately returned, and I remained with 8 or 9 men on the hill, overlooking the town, about 200 yards distance from the blockhouse, at the Flag-staff, the remainder of them had got their arms, and were putting on their belts, on the outside of the ditch facing the town, when suddenly I heard an alarm, and some one called out that the natives were in the palisades, and that there was no one in the blockhouse. (I would here remark, that the doorway is enclosed with palilisades.) I immediately turned around, and saw a number of natives rushing into the pallisades, and ditches, and opening fire on us, I then immediately opened on them, and before a second round could be fired, another party of natives advanced by the Tapika road, with the intention of cutting us off from the lower blockhouse ; I was then obliged, seeing a large body of natives in front, and another close to my rear, to retire to the lower blockhouse, which I immediately occupied and checked the further advance of the natives ; four of my men were killed in the upper blockhouse, and one wounded in retiring.
        I remained at the lower blockhouse till Mr. Polock's house was blown up, and the general retreat to the shipping took place.
                                                                                           I have the honour to be, Sir
                                                                                                       Your most obedient servant,
                                                                                                                   J. CAMPBELL
                                                                                                     pnbsp;          Ensign 96th Regiment
 To the Officer Commanding Troops Auckland.

___________o __________

        On the 16th March, the whole of the inhabitants of Russell arrived in Auckland, in H.M.S. Hazard;- the United States corvette, St. Louis, 21 guns, Captain Bliss ;- the Government brig, Victoria, Captain Richards ; and the Dolphin, schooner, Captain Stewart.
        On the 23rd March, H.M.S. North Star, Capt, Sir Everard Home, Bart., and the brigantine Velocity, arrived at Auckland, from Sydney, bringing 230 men and officers of the 58th Regt.
        Very soon after the expulsion of the Europeans from Russell, several of the native Chiefs disapproving of the acts of Heke and Kowaiti, commenced hostile proceedings against them. They were headed by Nene, (Thomas Walker) a great Chief of the Nga-ti-hao tribe of Hokianga, and they succeeded in driving Heke to his pah, and there surrounded him.
         On the 21st April, the barque Slains Castle, Captain Dawson, arrived at Auckland, from Sydney, with above two hundred rank and file of the 58th Regiment, under Major Bridge.
On the 23 April, H.M.S. North Star, Capt. Sir Everard Home, Bart., sailed from Auckland for the Bay of Islands; and on the 28th, the barque Slains Castle, with the 58th Regiment, under Major Bridge, and the brigantine Velocity, and the schooner, Aurora, with the 99th Regt. under Lieut. Colonel Hulme, and about 50 Volunteers, late inhabitants of Kororarika, under command of Mr. Hector, arrived at the Bay of Islands.
          In the afternoon of the same day, a detachment of the 58th Regt. was landed on the beach at Kororarika, when the Union Jack was hoisted, under a salute of 21 guns from H.M.S. North Star, and martial law proclaimed; after which, the troops returned to the ships. On the 29th all the vessels weighted anchor, and proceeded up the Kawa kawa river, but the day being quite calm, they did not reach their anchorage, within half a mile of Pomare's pah, until midnight. At day-light, on the 30th, a white flag was seen flying within
the pah. It was answered by a white flag at the fore royal mast head of the North Star. The whole of the troops were disembarked on the beach, and two were extended beyond the pah. About nine o'clock, Pomare surrendered himself to Colonel Hulme, who took him on board the North Star. About two in the afternoon, a proclaimation was issued to the natives, desiring them to lay down their arms within two hours, or they would be attacked, and their pah destroyed. The natives deserted their pah immediately, carrying away their
arms; therefore, at 4 o'clock it was destroyed, as well as their canoes, - and the troops  re-embarked.
         At day-light on the 1st May, the vessels returned to their anchorage off Pahia, to concer't measures with Nene, for the attack on Heke and Kowaiti. On the afternoon of 2nd May, H.M.S. Hazard joined the squadron, having been to Auckland; when they proceeded  to Kent's passage; and anchored there at midnight. At daybreak on the 3rd, the whole of the troops were landed on Onewara beach, and also a brigade of 108 seamen and marines from the North Star and Hazard. On landing, the troops were immediately joined by the natives of Nene and Rewa, amounting to about 400, when the march commenced along the banks of Kawa kawa, and they halted at night near a swamp. On Sunday the 4th, the forces reached  Mr. Kemp's station on the Keri keri, and remained there until Tuesday, on account of the very bad weather ; when they marched to Nene's pah, through a dense wood, a passage through which, had been previously cut, by the pioneers of the 58th Regt., and Nene's natives.
        The following day was devoted to reconnoitering the pah of Heki, and selecting positions for the rockets. The pah was very strong, defended by three separate palisadings, and a stone wall, with deep wide ditch inside. The palisadings had three tiers of loop holes and were interwoven with the native flax. In fact, it was impregnable to troops, without artillery to effect a breach. On Thursday, the 8th May, the whole force marched from the encampment to the attack. At nine o'clock, the rocket party commenced firing, but their effect was not such as had been anticipated, on account of the distance being too short. A sharp and continual fire was kept up by the military on the pah, which was sharply returned. A party of natives under Kowaiti defended a breastwork, about 150 yards from the pah ; but they were driven from it by the troops. About noon, one of Nene's party, named Honi Ropiha, discovered Kowaiti advancing again, under cover of some brushwood, with 400 natives, just when they were within about 50 yards of the troops, who immediately poured in a volley, and charged them, and terrible slaughter ensued. The rebels in the pah observed this conflict, and about 120 sallied out from the pah, and attacked the small party left to protect the breastwork, but as soon as the troops returned from charging Kowaiti, the natives were repulsed and driven back into the pah. In about an hour, Kowaiti again advanced to his former station, was again charged, and routed with great loss, and did not make his appearance again. The firing was kept up until four o'clock, when the troops were withdrawn from the attack, and they returned to Nene's encampment.
        The troops returned to the Bay of Islands on the 10th May, and were all re-embarked on board the Slains Castle and Velocity. The North Star with all the wounded and Colonel Hulme, sailed on the 12th for Auckland, where they arrived on Wednesday morning, the 14th May.

___________o __________

The following are the offical despatches.

                                                                                           Auckland, 27 May, 1845
        Sir - I have the honour to submitting to Your Excellency a summary of my military operations at the Bay of Islands, as detailed in my Despatches, dated 1st, 7th, 9th, and 12th instant.
        The vessels Slains Castle and Velocity, taken up to convey the force under my immediate command to the Bay of Islands, sailed from Auckland on the 27th April, and anchored at Kororarika on the afternoon of the 28th April, where I was glad to find H.M.S. North Star at anchor. I immediately consulted with Sir Everard Home, relative to re-establishing Her Majesty's authority at Kororarika. The Grenadier Company of the 58th Regt. (as a guard of honour) was landed about 5 o'clock, p.m., - the proclaimation was then read, and the Union Jack hoisted under a salute of 21 guns from the North Star - the yards were then manned, and three cheers from the party onshore were answered by the seamen and troops on board the transports.
        In obedience to Your Excelleny's instructions, I prepared to attack the rebel chiefs, and to destroy their property ; and as Pomare was one of the proscribed chiefs, and his pah the most exposed to an attack, the North Star and transports got under weigh on the morning of 29th April, and proceeded to Otahu, but light winds delayed the vessels until midnight, at which time they anchored off Pomare's pah.
        At daylight, I was much surprised to see a white flag flying at Pomare's pah ; but as the proclaimation only authorized loyal natives to shew it, I could not recognize it as an emblem of peace from a supposed rebel. - The troops commenced disembarking, and when landed, I sent two interpreters with a message into the pah, to desire Pomare to come to me directly ; his answer was, - ‘The Colonel must come to me.‘’ He sent the same answer to a second message. One of the interpreters now offered to remain as hostage in the pah - this I would not hear of. I then sent my final message to Pomare, that if he did not come to me in five minutes, I would attack his pah : this threat induced Pomare to come. I had it explained to him that his conduct had been very bad - that he must go on board the North Star, and that he must accompany me to Auckland to account for it to His Excellenct the Governor.
        I preferred proceeding in the manner stated in preference to hostilities, because I did not consider that it would add to the reputation of a British army or secure the safety of New Zealand, if a force consisting of three hundred bayonets attacked an open pah, and defended by a chief with about fifty slaves, whose wife and children were with him, and who I connected with almost every powerful chief in this island. I have no hesitation in asserting that, if Pomare or any member of his family had been killed that morning, most of the neutral tribes about Hokianga would have taken up arms against the Government ; and I am not convinced, even now, that Pomare's death would not have shaken Walker Nene's fidelity to our cause, and many tribes to the southward would also have been in arms against us. As far as I could judge, Pomare did not evince much reluctance to go with me on board of her, he and his wife and children were treated with much kindness by Sir Everard Home.
        It was my intention to advance from Otuhu in the direction of Kawiti's pah, but my information about the country through which my march lay, was so contradictory, and I must have acted without the assistance of my loyal natives, that I decided upon postponing that movement ; and accordingly the troops re-embarked, and all the vessels returned to an anchorage off Kororarika.

        I had another motive for so deciding. - Paratine Rekeao urged me to lose no time in attacking Heke, and, by my request, he sent a message to Tamati Waka (Nene) to visit me on board the North Star, for I could not undertake a march of about thirty miles from the coast, until the return of H.M.S. Hazard from Auckland. On the morning of the 1st instant Tamati Waka arrived, and it was on that day the ally arranged that the troops should disembark at Onewero, on the morning of the 3rd instant, and make two marches to his pah. About noon on the 3rd instant, the force, consisting of the small-armed seamen and marines of the North Star and Hazard, add the troops, in all, about four hundred men, was ready to march ; but an unforeseen obstacle retarded my progress, which was casually produced. Walker (Nene) being unable to produce the number of natives he had promised me, and whom I required to carry some spare ammunition - the volunteers from Auckland being employed in carrying the hospital establishment and other articles - and as I had no alternative, the destruction of the settlement of Kororarika having placed the means of transport beyond my reach, by being under the vigilence of the rebels, I was obliged to issue spare ammunition, to the extent of thirty rounds to every man, to carry in his haversack - a very unmilitary arrangement, and thereby endangering the lives of the soldiers, and exposing the ammunition to be damaged and lost ;- in this way, without a single tent or drop of liquor, a force commenced its march in the interior of New Zealand to crush a rebellion which had existed for many months. After a march of nine miles, the force halted for the night ; at midnight it rained heavily, and in the morning it poured. As there was no shelter for the troops at Waka (Nene's) pah, I immediately marched to Kiri Kiri, and occupied the large store and other buildings at that place. The spare ammunition was inspected, and two-thirds of it found unfit for use ; and the five day's biscuit which man had received was unfit to be eaten.
        The bad weather lasted until the morning of the 6th instant, but during its continuance Waka (Nene) sent instructions to his tribe to erect several warres for the accomodation of the Europeans. The march on the 6th instant was about seventeen miles, and the path heavy. When the force arrived at the pah I was pleased to see two large warres ready for the men, although not of sufficient capacity to contain all of the force.
        At noon on the 7th instant, I, and several of the officers went to a hill about a mile from Heke's pah, to recounoitre it. From observation and enquires I was soon convinced the pah was a strong fortification, trebly stockaded, with walls inside, traverses cut from side to side, a deep ditch, and each face loopholed - and, to add strength, the phormium tenax, or New Zealand Flax, was interwoven, which made the pah impregnable to musketry.

        I now felt convinced that it was not practicable to take the pah, with no other means than physical strength, and to attempt it with such means would cause an unnecessary sacrifice of human life - I subsequently made arrangements to take up a position near Heke's fortification, to fire the rockets and see their effect ; and as the chances of war are many and uncertain, I formed half the force into three parties of assault, and pointed out to each commander his position, and there to wait for further orders - I was thus prepared to assault the fortification.
        About nine o'clock on the morning of the 8th inst. I placed the reserve behind a ridge within three hundred yards of the pah, and ordered the three parties of assault, consisting of the small armed seamen of H.M. Ships North Star and Hazard, under the command of Acting-Commander George Johnston ; of the Light Company of the 58th Regt., under command of Captain Denny ; and of the detachment of Royal Marines and of the 96th Regt., under the command of Lieutenant and Adjutant M'Lerie, 58th Regt., to advance to their respective posts. In doing so, they were exposed to a heavy and galling fire from two faces of the pah, but the parties moved on with unflinching steadiness, and crownen a height within two hundred yards of the pah. I saw its real strenghth, and my former opinion was fully confirmed that it was not to be taken without aid of artillery.
        The rocket party under the direction of Lieut. Ergerton, of the North Star, now fired 12 rockets, but the resul was not so favourable as I had anticipated ; a few of the rebels were observed to leave the pah on the two first being fired, but the alarm was only momentary. About this time the parties on the height advanced their right flank, and opened a heavy fire - this movement arose from a loyal native having discovered a large body of rebels under Kawiti lying in ambush, for the purpose, I have since ascertained of attacking the parties in the rear, if they should assault the pah,. The rerbels were charged and dispersed with loss.
        I was about to order the parties to retire and rejoin the reserve, when the British ensign was unexpectedly hoisted by Heki, and on another flagstaff a small red flag was hoisted, (Thomas Walker called it Heki's fighting flag), this flag was hoisted up and pulled down several successive times - its meaning was soon explained, being immediately followed by a combined attack on the three parties by the rebels under Kawiti, and about one hundred and fifty of those under Heki, who rushed from the fortification. The reserve fired on the latter, and although the distance was great it checked their advance ; a few reached the height and were there killed. Kawiti's attack was repulsed at the point of the bayonet, with a severe loss.
        As many of the soldiers had been wounded, I ordered the parties to retire, and they were descending from the height when they were a third time attack'd by Kawiti, who was not this time supported by Heki. Skirmishers were sent out, and the rebels were again repulsed. This was the last effort of the rebels to defeat a brave body of seamen and soldiers ; the parties afterwards retired, and brought off all the wounded men.
        I have thus, your excellency, briefly detailed the movements of the force under my command to the 8th instant, inclusive ; and it now becomes my duty to express how much I feel indebted to the parties of assault for their gallant conduct in taking up their positions under a heavy fire of musketry early on the morning of the 8th instant, and for three times repulsing, at the point of the bayonet, during that day, a large body of rebels under Kawiti.
        My thanks are due to Lieutenant Egerton, and the Rocket party under his direction, for their assistance.
        The reserve, under the command of Major Bridge 58th Regt., only wanted the oportunity to distinguish themselves.
        To Major Bridge, commanding the 58th Regt., and Ensign O'Connell, 51st Regt., (Aid-de-camp to Lieutenant-General commanding the troops in Australia) my acting Brigade Major, my best thanks are due for their assistance, and to all the other officers I beg to convey the expression of my warmest approbation.
        I regret to say our loss has been severe ; that of the rebels could not be correctly ascertained; but it must have been great. Ruku and his son, a son and nephew of Kawiti's, and several other chiefs, are said to be among the killed.
        In consequence of the bad accommodation for our numerous wounded, and no means of procuring proper nourishment for them - as there was not an ounce of tea or sugar in the camp, I decided on retiring to Kiri Kiri as soon as litters could be made for the wounded ; but bad weather again detained me until the morning of the 10th instant. When the force was ready to march on that day, another difficulty arose in getting sufficient number of natives to transport the wounded - eight men being required for each litter - as Tamati Waka (Nene) could not leave his pah defenceless. I was reluctantly compelled to order the fighting men to carry their wounded comrades, and half the force was so employed from 11 o'clock, a.m., to 9 o'clock, p.m., - but all, seamen and sailors, performed this unusual duty with a spirit that can scarce be surpassed. The volunteers carried the arms and appointments of the sick and wounded.
        I had previously written to Sir Everard Home to send boats up the Kiri Kiri river to receive the wounded, and on the 11th instant, the whole of them were conveyed on board the North Star, in which vessel every comfort had been prepared for them.
        The re-embarkation of the troops was now a matter of necessity, and could not be delayed. The force had been on shore ten days, exposed to very inclement weather ; had been for seven days on a half ration, consisting of meat and a small quantity of potatoes - the biscuit, as previously stated, had been spoiled by the rain ; and the medical officers were unanimous in the opinion, that any further continuance of discomforts would produce much sickness among the troops. On the 11th instant, the force marched to the coast, and re-embarked.
        During my absence, and by directions of Captain Sir Everard Home, Lieutent Philpotts, on the 7th inst., with parties of seamen of Her Majesty's Ships North Star Hazard, burnt five small villages belonging to Heki - broke up two large canoes and brought off two other large ones ; and on the 9th inst., Mr. Lane, with a party, broke up two large canoes, and brought off four large and small boats belonging to Europeans, which had been taken away from Kororarika.
        In conclusion, I beg to express my sense of the cordial support and able assistance which I have received from Captain Sir Everard Home, in disembarking and re-embarking the force - and acting commander Johnston, and to all the other officers - and to all the seamen and marines, my thanks for their zeal and assistance.
        My best tanks are due to Major Bridge, commanding the 58th Regt., to Ensign O'Connell, 51st Regt., acting Brigade Major, - and to all the troops employed, for their strict discipline, their concilatory conduct in their intercourse with the loyal natives, and their examplary cheerfulness under privations of rations, and great exposure to bad weather - and particularly for their exertions on the 11th instant, in carrying one-half of their wounded comrades on litters, a distance of 18 miles over a bad road, or rather path.
        I beg to annex a list of the killed and wounded on the 8th instant.

                                                                                 I have &c. &c.
                                                                                       W. Hulme, Lieut-Col.,
                                                                      Commanding the Force at Bay of Islands.
His Excellency Captain Fitzroy,
Governor of New Zealand.

___________o __________

List of the killed and wounded in the action near the rebel chief Heke's camp, on the 8th May 1845.

         1 Private of the Royal Marines killed.
         Mr. Warrington (clerk) slightly wounded
         3 Privates of the Royal Marines severely wounded.
         1 Seaman dangerously wounded - since dead.
         3 Seamen severely wounded.

         Lieutenant Morgan, slightly wounded.
         1 Private Royal Marines, severely wounded.
         2 Seamen severely wounded.

         8 Rank and File killed.
         2 Sergeants and 14 Rank and File sev. wounded.
         1 Sergeant slightly wounded.

         4 Rank and File killed.
         1 Sergeant and 6 Rank and File severely wounded.
         8 Rank and File slightly wounded.

        1 Civilian servant to Mr. Beckham, Police Magistrate, severely wounded.

         13 Killed
           2 Officers, and
         37 Seamen, Marines and Soldiers, wounded.

                                                                            W. Hulme , Lieut.-Col.
                                                                              Commanding the Force

___________o __________
                                                            Bay of Islands, 17 May, 1845.
                Sir, - I have the honour to report for the information of his Excellency the Governor, the successful issue of an expedition I had the honor to command against the Waikadi tribe - in accordance with instructions, and the discretionary power vested in me by Lieutenant Colonel Hulme, commanding the Forces in New Zealand, previous to his departure for Auckland. Having obtained, through the assistance of Mr. Clendon, Police Magistrate of Pahia, all the necessary information of the strength and position of the pah at Waikadi, I proceeded up the Waikadi river by night on the 15th instant, with 200 men of the 58th Regiment, 8 marines, and a 12 pounder carronade, with an armed seaman in each boat, belonging to H.M.S. Hazard, in order to reach our position before break of day, and thereby cut off the retreat of the natives from the pah ; but owing to the intricate navigation of the channel, and the difficulty of finding the entrance to the proper creek in the dark, some of the boats lost their way, and as the tide went down, grounded - so that by break of day, I found myself before the pah with only 50 men, and about 100 maories belonging to Tamati Waka and Rivers, under the chiefs Rippa and Rivers ; these I despatched to the left of the pah, to flank it on that side ; whilst a subaltern and 20 men of the 58th Regt. formed a flanking party to the right - I took up a position in front, under cover of a low bank and scrub. The inmates of the pah commenced firing on us as the day broke, having heard our approach, which was returned by the friendly natives, but I did not allow my men to fire a shot for fear of injuring some of them, until I had sufficient men landed to make an attack on the pah ; however, in less than half-an-hour the enemy was seen deserting the pah, and our allies rushing in - We immediately followed them up and took possession of it, whilst Rippa's and Rivers' parties followed up the fugitives, who kept up a constant fire from the bush for six or seven hours after, during which time I had to support the friendly natives with a company of the 58th Regt. - They fought most gallantly, and, I regret to say, had two killed and six wounded. The Waikadi tribe, it is said, were reinforced by a party of Kawiti's men. There were about 80 men in the pah, how many joined them afterwards could not be ascertained, nor could their loss, but from the heavy fire we kept up upon them for so many hours, it must have been considerable.
        I found that all the property said to be in their possession, stolen from Kororarika and other places, had been removed into the bush in anticipation of our coming, and from the thickness of the bush it was impossible for Europeans to proceed in search of it. I, however, burned down the pah, and carried away all the canoes and other things of use, and have much satisfaction in reporting that as soon as the tide served, I returned to the ship without losing a man, notwithstanding the risk we ran of having our retreat ciut off, and being fired at whilst in the boats, from the banks of the river, on our return. There were two boats captured by Lieut. Philpotts, and the canoes I allowed Tamati Waka's people to take.

                                                                        I have the honor to be &c,,
                                                                            C.P. Bridge, Com. 58th Regt.,
                                                                                Commanding Troops at Bay of Islands.
To Colonial Secretary, &c., Auckland.

Saturday, 14 June 1845


        The Government brig, Victoria, and the schooner, Velocity, arrived from the Bay of Islands on Thursday morning, and sailed again on their return in a few hours, conveying seventy-five volunteers from the Militia force under the command of Lieutenant Figg, to act as pioneers, in conjunction with the regular forces.
        There is no new of importance, - Hone Heke is fortifying himself strongly within his pah, and both he and Kawiti are determined to fight to the last. He has six guns, and has been trying the strength of his defences with them, in order to repair any weak part. Whenever the conflict does take place, by the assault of our troops, it must be expected there will be dreadful slaughter, on both sides ; but however great the loss of our gallant countrymen, it will prevent much greater calamities hereafter, if their bravery is crowned with complete success and victory.

Saturday, 12 July 1845


        The offical details of the late  murderous conflict, at the Bay of Islands, we published, in a second edition, on Tuesday last, and we now reprint the Gazette, with such additional authentic particulars as we have been able to ascertain.
        Comment, on the Despatches of Colonel Despard, we consider unnecessary. The troops behaved with the accustomed valour of British soldiers ; but the most determined bravery, cannot surmount such obstacles, as Heke's pah and defences opposed. Whether it was an act generalship to attack, before more destructive breaching, is a question to be decided only by those accustomed to such desperate service ; but this further defeat, we will trust will not be without its good effect, in future operations. The feelings of deep regret at this temporary repulse of our gallant countrymen, are quite overwhelmed by sensations of horror and disgust, at the acts of those barbarous savages, after the conflict ; and all thoughts of emotions of pity, mercy or pardon towards Heke and his followers, are completely dissipated, by the undoubted fact of their renewal of cannibalism. It is with most poignant feelings that we record the truth, that the gallant leader of the brave grenadiers of the 58th Regiment, Captain Grant, was killed and afterwards roasted and eaten by the natives.
        Another of the wounded, one of the 99th Regt., who fell into their hands, was actually roasted alive. The cries of the brave sufferer were distinctly heard in the camp. Lieutenant Phillpotts, R.N., was killed while bravely endeavouring to force the second line of defences ; and he was afterwards, to satisfy the revenge of these inhuman wretches, scalped ; but his body was obtained, and brought from the pah, by Archdeacon Williams, and buried in Waimate churchyard. His eyeglass and a small portion of his hair were the only relics that could be found, and they were sent by Mr. Williams, to Capt. Johnson of the Hazard. Lieut. Beatty, who led the forlorn hope, is most severely wounded, with very little hopes of surviving.
        The weather has been most severe, and the troops had suffered in consequence, great privations from the wet and cold, the camp being a perfect slough of mud. It is anticipated that the troops would retire to Waimate, on Wednesday last, and there to remain until reinforced, and the season for field operations was more advanced. Our staunch native allay, Waka, had been joined by the respectable Chief Nopers, or Noble, of the Rarauwa tribe, from the Valley of Kaitaia. The wife of Waka had been surprised, and taken prisoner, by some of Heke's followers, while conveying ammunition with other women, to her husband's pah, and she was subsequently most barbarously murdered by them, and cut in pieces. She was relative of Noble, and according to native usage, he and 400 of his tribe had taken up arms determined on full revenge in blood.
        The allied Chiefs have had a conference with Colonel Despard, subsequent to the late action, to determine on the part the former should immediately take, in the operations against Heke, and by latest accounts, it was anticipated that some determined, immediate decisive step would be taken by Waka and Nopera against Heke's pah, in which our troops would not bear the brunt of the engagement.
        Heke's force had been divided, by part proceeding to a pah about twenty miles to the southward, which is situated on a mountain, almost inaccessible, and which they were fortifying with every possible strength. To this, he means to retreat in case of defeat in his present position, and make it a rallying point for all disaffected natives, as well as traitorous, rebellious Europeans ; but we sincerely trust, and confidently anticipate, that disastrous and gloomy as present events appear, no long time will elapse before that ‘‘Flag which has braved the battle and the breeze for a thousand years, ’’ will wave triumphantly and peacefully throughout this beautiful colony.

___________o __________


                                                                        Camp before Heke's Pah,
                                                                              2nd July, 1845.
        Sir, - It is with much more regret than I can express, that I have to acquiant your Excellency that an attempt was yesterday made by the troops under my command, in the afternoon, to carry the fortified position or pah of Heke, without success - and we were repulsed with heavy loss. The particulars shall be forwarded to you with as little delay as possible.
        I enclose herewith a list of wounded. Many of the latter, I am sorry to say, are severe and dangerous.
 It is impossible to say too much praise of the bravery and good conduct of both officers and men. - I have the honor to be,
                                            Your Excellency's most obt. humble servt.,
                                                                       H. DESPARD
                                                      Colonel Commanding the Troops.
To His Excellency
Governor Fitzroy
     &c.  &c.  &c.

Return of Killed and Wounded of the Force under command of Colonel Despard, 99th Regt., from the 30th June, to 1st July, 1845

             Her Majesty's Ship Hazard
             Lieutenant Phillpotts, killed
             1 Seaman killed.
             2 Seamen wounded.
             1 Private of the Royal Marines, killed.

           Her Majesty's 58th Regiment.
             Captain Grant, killed
             3 Sergeants and 11 Rank and File killed.
             2 Sergeants and 33 Rank and File wounded.
             2 Privates since dead.

           Her Majesty's 96 Regiment.
             3 Rank and File killed.
             3 Rank and File wounded.

           Her Majesty's 99th Regiment
             1 Sergeant and 14 Rank and File killed.
             Bt. Major Macpherson severely wounded.
             Lieutenantt Batty                ditto
             Lieutenant Johnson slightly wounded,
             Ensign O'Reilly severely wounded.
             1 Sergeant and 21 Rank and File wounded.
             2 Privates since dead.

           Volunteers - (Pioneers)
             4 Rank and File, wounded

             Mr. Henry Clarke, Interpreter to the Force, severely wounded.

___________o __________

                                                                 Camp before Heke's Pah,
                                                                                        July 2, 1845.
        Sir, - Annexed is a detailed account of the action that took place between the troops under my command, and the rebels, in the early part of the forenoon of yesterday, as also of our assault on the pah, and our repulse which took place in the afternoon afterwards.
        Finding the guns which I had brought with me from Auckland were quite inefficient for breaching, from their very defective carriages, as they frequently upset from their own firing, I requested Captain Johnson, of H.M.S. Hazard, to send me one of his heavy guns, which accordingly brought up to camp, a distance of 15 miles land carriage, over most execrable roads, with great labour and difficulty, on the 30th ; and during that day, a platform was erected on the side of a hill on the right of our position, the top of which hill was occupied by our allay, Waka Nene and his tribe. A sergeant's guard of the 58th Regt., was also there, to protect a six-pounder that had been placed there, with a view of raking the enemy's position. The Hazard's gun opened its fire about 10 o'clock, a.m. and while the attention of every body was occupied in observing its efects, a sudden attack was made on this position from a very thick wood close in the rear, and Waka's people were driven down from it. I was in the battery halfway down the hill when this attack was made, when I instantly ordered up a party of the 58th Regt., under Major Bridge, who gallantly charged up the hill so as to turn the enemy's left flank, and regained the position with the loss of only one man.
        This attack shewed me the necessity of coming to an immediate decision and I accordingly determined on atttacking the pah, by assalt, in the afternoon, as soon as the few shot brought up from the ‘Hazard,’(26 in number), were expended ; which I expected would so loosen the stockades, as to enable the men attacking them to cut and pull them down. In pursuance of this resuolution, a storming party was ordered to parade at three o'clock p.m., for this purpose, and I issued instructions for its guidance, as detailed in the accompanying memorandum. The parties for the attack were enabled to adance to within 60 to 100 yards of the point of attack, and there remain unpercieved by the enemy, in a ravine under cover. When the advance was sounded, they rushed forward in the most gallant and daring manner, and every endeavour was made to pull the stockade down. They partially succeeded in opening the outer one, but the inward one resisted all their efforts, and being lined with men firing though loop-holes on a level with the ground, and from others half way up, our men were falling so fast, that nowithstanding the most daring acts of bravery, and the greatest perseberance, they were obliged to retire. This could not be effected without additional loss in the endeavour to bring off the wounded men, in which they were generally successful. The retreat was covered by the party under Lieut. Colonel Hulme, of the 96th Regt., and too much praise cannot be given that Officer, for the coolness and steadiness with which he conducted it under heavy fire.
        I must here remark, that the hatchets and axes, as well the ropes for pulling down the stockade, and the ladders, were all thrown away or left behind, by those appointed to carry them ; and to this circumstance I attribute the main cause of the failure.
        I trust that it will not be tought that the character of the British has been tarnished on this occasion. One third of the men actually engaged fell in the attack, and during the eight days that we have been engaged carring on operations against this place, one fourth of the whole strength of British soldiery under my command, (originally not exceeding 490), have either been killed or wounded.
        From Lieutenant Colone Hulme I have received every assistance during the whole time of these operations, independant of his gallant conduct in covering the retreat. Major Macpherson of the 99th Regt., who led the principal attack, and was severely wounded, also deserves every praise for the daring manner in which he led his men to the assault, and though slightly struck on the left breast at the commencement, he gallantly persevered till struck down by a serious wound. Equal praise is also due to Major Bridge of the 58th Regt., for the coolness and steadiness with which he led his men to the attack, and his perserverance till called off. Where every induvidual has behaved equally well, it seems invidious to particularize names, - but I cannot avoid mentioning the unwearied toil, zeal and energy displayed by Lieut. Wilmott of the Royal Artillery, in conducting that department with the most inefficient means. Captain Marlow, Royal Engineers, and his department gave me every assistance in their power while labouring under the same inefficiency of means as Artillery. I must not omit either to mention the able assistance and active zeal that has been displayed by Lieutenant and adjutant Deering, of the 99th Regt., (acting as Major of Brigade), whether under fire of the enemy, or in conducting the necessary details. The three Officers with Major Macpherson's part, were all either killed or wounded, Captain Grant, Lieut. Beatty, (who volunteered the forlorn hope), and Ensign O'Reilly. The Volunteers from the New Zealand Militia, acting as pioneers, under Lieut. Figg, deserve to be mentioned, and that Officer himself has undergone unceasing toil of the most harassing nature with zeal and energy. Lieut. Wood, and the Militia Volunteers for the Artillery, deserve to be included in the commendation.
        Captain Johnston of H.M.S. ‘Hazard,’ has given me the most unwearied assistance in every possible way, from the commencement of our operations, by sending up supplies of all sorts, even from his own ship, when our public stores were deficient. The Seamen and Marines of H.M. Navy have always borne the same character for bravery and intrepidity wherever they have been employed, and the few, 18 in number, that joined this expedition from H.M.S. ‘Hazard,’ have nobly supported the same character. Lieutenant Phillpotts, R.N., fell when endeavouring to force his way through the stockade. I enclose herewith a correct list of killed and wounded.
                                                            I have the honor to be,
                                                                  Your Excellency's most obedient and humble servant,
                                                                       H. DESPARD
                                                                          Lieut. Colonel 99th Regt., and Colonel on the Staff in N.Z.
To His Excellency,
Governor, &c. &c.
P.S. The wounded are doing well under the able care and constant attention bestowed on them by Dr. Pine of the 58th, and Dr. Galbraith, of the 99th Regiments.
                                                                                        H. D.
_________ o _________
Camp 1st July. 1845.
        The following are the directions, and the distribution of the troops, for the attack on the pah, at 3 o'clock, this evening.
        The principal attack will be made on or near the right angle on the front face, (that face being considered the front one that is opposite the camp), and the whole column for this attack will be formed as follows : 2 sergeants and 20 volunteers from the three corps will form the advance, and proceed with the most perfect silence till they reach the stockade.
        This party will be followed closely by the assaulting body, under Major Macpherson, composed of 40 grenadiers from the 58th and 40 grenadiers from the 99th Regiments, and will be accompanied by a small party of seamen, and by 30 pioneers from the volunteer Militia. The seamen, and as many pioneers as there are sufficient tools for, will be supplied with axes or hatchets are to carry the ladders as well as strong ropes, which will be supplied by the Artillery department, for pulling down the stockade.
        Major Macpherson's party will be closely followed by Major Bridge, of the 58th Regiment, having under him the remainder of the grenadiers of the 58th, to be made up to 60 rank and file from the battalion of the same Regiment, and 40 rank and file from the Light Company of the 99th Regiment. -- In all amounting to 100 rank and file.
        A strong supporting party will be formed under Lieut-Colonel Hulme, 96th Regiment, consisting of the whole of the detachment of the 96th Regiment, completed to 100 rank and file by the battalion of the 58th Regiment.
        The moment an entrance is made into the pah, this party will instantly follow the preceeding parties. The remainder of the force will be under the personal command of Colonel Despard, for the purpose of directing assistance wherever necessary, with the exception of 40 rank and file of the 58th Regiment, under command of Capt. Thompson, of that corps, who will occupy the hill overlooking the pah, and the camp ; it being considered necessary to do so, from the attempt made by the natives in the morning to get possession of it.
                                                                         By order,
                                                                            R. B. DEERING
                                                                                Lieut. 99th Regiment, Acting Brigade Major.
_________ o _________

The names of the non-commissioned officers and privates, killed and wounded, as yet known, are as follows :
        Her Majesty's 58th Regiment.
        Sergeant - Halliday
             “           Morrow
             “           Andrew Wilson
        Corporal - Wiliam Stewart
        Privates -   Davis
Thirty five wounded. Two Sergeants and 33 rank and file. names not yet reported.

        Her Majesty's 99th Regiment.
        Grenadiers Srgt. - Thomas Todd
        Privates -  Martin Moran
                          John Hill
                          William Watson
                          William Pope
                          John Macgrath
        Lt. Company - George Mabar
                          John Noble
                          James Hughes
                          John Eaton
                          Patrick Hicken
                          Henry Mosely
                          James Stocks
                          Benjamin Heath
        Grenadiers - James Crane
                           Hugh Dowse
                           Jacob Edmonds
                           Michael Farren
                           Robert Hughes
                           Henry Spencer
                           William Swan
                           Hector McCormick
        Lt. Cmpy. Srgt. - Maley Thomas
               “          Bradley Martin
        Private -    William Bridges
                          Thomas Crawley
                          David Mark
                          Thomas Comiers
                          Andrew Duncan
                           Patrick Flym (presumably intended as Flyn)
                           Duncan Murray

_________ o _________

Saturday, 24 January 1846


We announced, in our last publication, the arrival of His Excellency Governor Grey from the seat of war, on the morning of Saturday last and the intelligence that Kawiti and Heke had been driven from the Pah of Ruapekapeka, which was subsequently destroyed.
        On Saturday evening, the Government Gazette appeared, containing despatches from Colonel Despard to Governor Grey, detailing the recent operations of the combined forces in the neighbourhood of the Bay of Islands.
        The Gazette of last Saturday we published on Monday last, in a second edition. On Wednesday last, the Government re-published the Gazette, with two additional despatches from Colonel Despard, dated 9th and 14th January, - and we have this day re-published the whole of these documents.
        The despatches are prefaced by a notification from the Colonial Secretary, by His Excellency's command, that these operations have “resulted in a series of successes, which must produce the most beneficial consequences for this portion of Her Majesty's dominions.
        With this introduction, it might be anticipated that the despatches would detail brilliant actions and skilful tactics. The actual result of the present campaign in the northern district - more especially that Kawiti and Heke are now suing for peace - is certainly source of great satisfaction, however fortuitously such event may have been brought about : but the manner in which possession was obtained of Kawiti's pah, did not, in our opinion, justify the lengthened, pompous, commendatory despatch of Colonel Despard, in which a mere casualty - of the defenders being at prayers without the pah, enabling out troops and allies to enter, unpercieved and unmolested - is termed, - “ the capture of a fortress, of extraordinary strength, by assault, and nobly defended by a brave and determined enemy ” - We consider, therefore, that a plain, unvarnished narrative of the facts, from authentic sources, will be acceptable to our readers.
        It appears that on 1st January, the British forces established themselves in a strong stockade, in the middle of a wood, distant about four hundred yards from the pah of Kawiti, and in which, subsequently, were mounted two 32-pounders, and four small 5½ inch mortars, and the wood in front of the guns being cut down, the western face of the pah was exposed to their fire.
        On the 2nd instant, Kawiti made a sortie from his pah, for the purpose of turning the flank of this stockade, and destroying it, before it was finished ; but Nene and our allies drove them back, killing four and wounding several of the enemy. The British troops were not engaged in this affair, at the particular desire of the loyal native chiefs. After this sally from the pah, another small stockade, but more advanced - about 160 yards from the pah, was erected, mounting one 18-pounder, and one 12-pound howitzer, for the purpose of destroying the south-west angle of the pah.
        The main camp was distant, about half a-mile from the pah, situated on a ridge, surrounded on all sides by thick woods. In front of the camp were three guns, with an apparatus for thowing rockets.
        On Saturday the 10th instant, all the batteries being completed, a general fire was commenced from the whole of them, for the purpose of effecting a breach, and rockets were likewise discharged, in order to annoy the enemy within the pah. Towards evening, the outer works  evinced the effect of the guns, and three breaches were made. An assault was then contemplated by the commanding officer, and two hundred of the troops were told off, to lead the attack. During the afternoon a great number of natives had been seen from the battery to enter, steathily, the pah, in small parties ; and it was very clear that the natives within the pah were considerably reinforced, and, also, that they were well prepared, anticipating an assault. The chief Mohi Tawai remonstrated with the commanding officer, asserting, that it would be sacrificing the lives of brave men to attempt the assault on that evening ; an that by continuing the breaching, the object would be accomplished in a few days. The troops were then ordered back to the camp.
        On the following morning, Sunday the 11th about twelve of Nene's natives, with William Walker, his brother, approached the breaches to reconnoitre, and not percieving or hearing any natives within the outer stockades of the pah, they entered - and as soon as they found they were unopposed, conveyed signals to our forces in the batteries, when the sailors and troops rushed forward into the pah, before Kawiti's natives, who were outside the pah engaged at their karakia (worship), could re-enter. As soon as they ascertained that they had thus, by negligence, lost possession of their stronghold, they commenced a heavy fire on our troops from the woods, and from the back part of the European forces and their native allies, in addition to the protection afforded by the internal defences of the pah, rendered all attempts unavailing ; and if our troops and seamen had remained in the pah, instead of rushing out to contend with the natives in the woods, very few casua;ties would have occurred. After continuing the fire, in order to carry off their killed and wounded, the natives retired into the woods to a pah, about three miles distant recently erected by Heke (who joined Kawiti on Saturday afternoon) as a place of refuge for Kawiti, in case he should be expelled from Ruapekapeka.
        The loss of the European forces was twelve killed, of which nine were seamen and marines - and thirty wounded, inclusive of seventeen seamen and marines. The native rebels suffered a loss of twenty-five killed, as correctly as it could be ascertained.
        Within the pah no ammunition or provisions were found. The former had been divided among them on the Saturday evening, anticipating the attack ; and they had been subsisting on fern-root alone, for some time previously.
        His Excellenct Governor Grey was present during the whole of the operations, and was eye-witness to this anomalous assault on the enemy's fortification, which had no ememy within it - “ the extraordinary strength of which, in its interior defences - every hut being a complete fortress in itself, and the whole stockaded all round with heavy timbers, with strong embankment behind them, ” - enabled the combined European and Native forces, above one thousand men, to keep out the original native possessors, in numbers very litle exceeding four hundred fighting men.
        In the Brigade Order of the 11th January, it is stated that - “ the capture of a fortress of such extraordinary stength, by assault, and nobly defended by a brave and determined enemy, is of itself sufficient to prove the intrepidity and gallantry of all concerned;” - and Colonel Despard, in his despatch to His Excellency, on the following day, remarks - that as Governor Grey was an eye-witness to all the operations, and, likewise, activily engaged in the assault of the fortress, it might be considered unecessary to particularise those induviduals who conspicuosly distinquished themselves ; but he feels so much satisfaction in recording his obligations, that he perseveres in immortalizing twenty-one induviduals - and lastly, His Excellency himself participates in the lavish applause. On this occasion we fear that the drummers and fifers will feel themselves deprived of their laurels in this assault, from the omission of a paragraph complimentary of their services.
        That praise and promotion should be awarded in the highest degree, and to the fullest extent, for meritorious services, no one will deny ; but care should be taken that justice is strictly and impartially rendered to all, and that no omissions are made in the commendatory list.
        That the whole of the officers and troops have, induvidually, endured great privations, and most arduous duties, in a warfare quite novel - in a country perhaps unequalled as to difficulty in military operations - and with an enemy fierce, wily, and courageous, exceeding anticipation - there cannot exist a difference of opinion ; and for the devotion, zeal, and bravery evinced by all - whether seamen, marines, troops of the line, artillery of the H.E.I.C. Service, or the Auckland volunteer militia - all are deserving of the highest praise and the grateful thanks of every settler in New Zealand.
        But however fortunately these events have come to pass, we have the greatest pleasure in announcing to our readers that they have occasioned serious overtures of peace from Heke and Kawiti. On Sunday last, Heke and Kawiti went to Pomare's pah, at the head of the Karetu, but that wily chief would not admit them, for fear of implicating himself, and incurring the censure and punishment of the Governor. They sent to Nene requesting him to meet them, in order to convey to the Governor their request for peace. Nene would neither go to them, nor suffer them to come to him, but deputed his brother, William Waka, to receive their communication. Being convinced that they are really sincere in their desire for a termination of hostilities, Nene has come to Auckland in the Victoria, with the concurrence of the other friendly chiefs in alliance with him, to acquaint his Excellency of the submission of Heke and Kawiti, and to intercede on their behalf.
        The two rebel chiefs throw themselves wholly on the mercy of his Excellency, resigning all their lands, and leaving it entirely to him, to dicate the terms, on which peace and order are to be re-established at the northern part of the Island. We understand that his Excellency does not intend to deprive Heke and Kawiti of their lands, or to make them an appendage to the property of the crown. We consider this a most wise policy, and its moral effect on the minds of the natives, throughout the islands, will be great and beneficial ; as it will prove that the Queen does not take up arms and carry on wars for the purpose of depriving the natives of their lands and properties, but to enforce submission to the laws. If our loyal allies are anxious, that the rebels should be spared further chastisement, and are also well assured, that their present submission is sincere and attributable to the effect and proof recently given to them, that the Queen will not allow insult to her Flag, or robbery and outrage to her subjects, to pass with impunity ; then we consider it would be no less consistent with justice than with mercy, at once to grant full pardon and obliterate the past.
        We learn, that Nene will return immediately to the Bay of Islands, and that peace will soon be permanently established in that district. The blockade will be removed, from the northern ports, on the 1st February, and the Customs re-established. Two hundred troops will remain there, with the Racehorse and Osprey men of war.

_________ o _________

Saturday, 19 December 1846


        “ Why, thou knowest I am as valiant as Hercules" -- “shall we have a play extempore? ”
        “ Content ; - and the argument shall be thy running away.”
        “ Ah ! no more of that, Hal, an' thou lovest me.”


        “ But let us try these truths with closer eyes. ”


FALSTAFF'S account of his conflict with the rogues in buckram, and the knaves in Kendal green, is completely eclipsed by the veracious descriptions of the capture of Te Ruapekapeka, which have been palmed upon the British public, and reparaded in the Local Government Gazette. What a pity it is that the oberservation and experience of every resident in the Colony should strike a discord with the high sounding periods, and spoil the effect of the brilliant passages these official despatches contain !
        Here is Truth in masquerade with a witness. Sober facts scarcely to be recognised admidst a profusion of fustian embellishments.
        The capture of Te Ruapekapeka was certainly a most fortunate achievement ; and as the manner of its accomplishment was more the result of accident than design, we think that a somewhat more modest style might have been adopted, without prejudicing the interest of the tale.
        When Colonel Despard's despatches were first published in the Colony, The New Zealander significantly alluded to the bombastic style in which they were written : but the Colonel did not give such free scope to his imagination in the composition of his account, as did, it appears, some of his comrades in command. We have not had an opportunity of perusing His Excellency Governor Grey's entire despatches to the Secretary of State, relative to this affair ; and it would be unfair to form an opinion upon the nature of his account as a whole, from the few detailed paragraphs that are contained in the columns of a London paper : but as he has published some official documents relative to this achievement in the Gazette of Wednesday last, thereby implying his approval of them, we are obliged to take it for granted that he wrote to Lord Stanley in much the same strain.
        The despatches published in Wednesday's Gazette certainly contain the truth ; but, as  we said before, what with the embellishments, and omissions, the truth is very much shorn of its lustre. For the benefit of the future historian of New Zealand, who may be rather apt to mislead his readers if he follows the text of these official documents too closely, and for the benefit of His Excellency the Governor, who may not perhaps be too wise to take a lesson even from us, and who, when he achieves a similar exploit, may stand in need of a model despatch, - and especially for the enlightenment of our friends at home, we will assume for a moment the gubernatorial chair, - place ourselves at the official desk, - and draw up what we concieve would be an unexceptionable account of the capture of Te Ruapekapeka.

        “My Lord, - I have the honor to inform your Lordship, that the rebel Kawiti's Pah, at Ruapekapeka, has been taken and raised to the ground.
        “I cannot, strictly speaking, say that this stronghold was carried by assault ; neither was it captured by stratagem : but, owing to a Providential combination of circumstances, we gained possession by accident, and having gained this advantage of the foe, were enabled to defeat his repeated attempts to regain the position he had lost, at the expence of much less blood than must have been shed, had we been forced to take the place by storm.
        “Without troubling your Lordship with unnecessary details, it will be sufficient for me to briefly state, that on the 10th January, the preparations for battering the defences with our great guns being completed, a well directed fire was opened, and kept up until towards evening. Our assault was then contemplated, and a number of men told off for this service ; but, at the suggestion and remonstrances of the allied Chiefs, the purpose was abandoned.
        “The fire was continued occasionally during the night, to prevent the rebels from repairing the breaches.
        “During the cannonnade, the rebels retired to the farthest end of the Pah, taking advantage of the sloping ground to shelter themselves from the shot and shell.
        “On the following morning, (Sunday), while our Native allies, as well as some of the rebels, were engaged in their respective positions in performing Divine Service - for I must apprize your Lordship, that notwithstanding the lamentable want of Christian principle displayed by the insurgents, many of them have, during the whole course of the war, been scrupulously attentive to the forms of religion, and probably did not expect to be attacked by us on a Sunday - William Waka Turau, brother of Waka Nene, accompanied by several others, strolled towards the Pah, and finding the trenches deserted, boldly entered the stockade : others followed their example, and the fact being communicated to the forces in the camp, a rapid advance was made, and possession obtained before the rebels were aware of our approach. As soon as they took alarm, they opened a heavy fire, retiring to the eastern side of the Pah ; but our troops being now protected by the stockade, and being transformed, as it were, from besiegers into the besieged, were enabled to repel the most desperate attempts which the enemy made to recover his lost position.
        “Some hard fighting ensued, and some considerable loss was sustained by us ; but the rebels were ultimately driven from the wood with greater loss than ours.
        “The extraordinary strenghth of the place, being clearly revealed after we gained possession, I felt thankful that we had succeeded in capturing it in so singular a manner ; as in all human probability, the attempt to carry it by assault, contemplated on the previous evening - if it had been made - would have been attended with dreadful sacrifice of life, if not have failed altogether : and my own reputation for prudence and skill, would doubtless have suffered in your Lordship's estimation, by such a disastrous result.
        “This important object having been so fortuitously accomplished, I gave directions for the troops to be re-embarked with all speed ; and such were my convictions of the propriety of avoiding, by all possible means, the risk of an attack during our progress to the point of embarkation, that I considered it advisable to secure this object, even though a portion of our baggage should be abandoned, and our retreat be so hurried, as to almost admit of its being termed a rout.
        “The eminent services rendered to Her Majesty's Government by Waka Nene, the principal Chief of our Native allies, are deserving of your Lordship's special consideration : without him and his adherents, we could have done, comparitively, but little. The officers and men, both naval and military, in as far as the conflict afforded them opportunity, behaved with their accustomed gallantry ; and fully sustained the character of bravery for which British seamen and soldiers are so justly renowned when brought into actual contact with an enemy.
        “I congradulate myself, extremely, in being able to communicate to your Lordship the fortunate issue of this affair ; and although I cannot lay claim to the honor of having secured, by preconcerted plan, so successful a result, yet I am, nevertheless, enabled to assure your Lordship, that the tranquillity of the Northern Districts will now, in consequence, be speedily re-established.

                                                                                              “I have the honor, &., &c.”

        Now, although we may not have had so much practice in writing military bulletins and diplomatic despatches as His Excellency, yet we venture to say that our narrative will be a better guide to the future Hume or Smolet of this empire in embtyo, than the colored contents of Wednesdays Gazette.
        Our Excellent Governor is certainly not remarkabe for mauvaise honte. He is determined that we shall not remain in ignorance of the plaudits bestowed upon him by the Downing-street authorities. This perhaps is pardonable, for the best of us are but men, though we must confess that Mr. Gladstone's commendatory despatch would have produced quite as much, if not more effect, and would have been quite as deservedly appreciated as made known to us by the English papers in our possession, even if it had been omitted in the Local Gazette. There is something in this that savours too much of egotism, it is, familiarly speaking, like a man blowing his own trumpet, and, to say the least, envinces bad taste.

Transcriptions from originals by J. Raymond, Brisbane, Australia - posted 26 Nov. 2002