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The Settlers

John Hurndall (Arrived 1863 Settled Maungaturoto)
- 1888 Obituary Notice NZ Herald 3rd Dec 1888
Lionel de Labrosse (Arrived 1867 Settled Pahi)
-The Arrival of the Regina in March 1867
-The Drowning of Thomas Condon - An account by Lionel de Labrosse of the sinking of his boat and the drowning of its builder.
- Enquiry at Te Aroha into the death of Lionel de Labrosse
George Haines Snr? ( Arrived 1862/63 Storekeeper Pahi)
- Marriage Eldest Daughter Elizabeth to William James Symonds 25th September 1866
-Accidental Death G. Haines March 1888

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Obituary - John Hurndall

NZ Herald 3rd December 1888

Another old settler, Mr. Hurndall, connected with the early
history of the Albertland settlements, has passed away within the last few days,
at his residence, Hamilton Road, Ponsonby, and was buried at the Avondale
Cemetery on November 25 by the Rev. Mr. Runciman.  Mr Hurndall arrived in
Auckland by the ship Owen Glendower, in 1863, and joined some of the special
settlers who came out at the same time by the Tyburnia.  They took up land
at Maungaturoto, and here for more than twenty years Mr. Hurndall took a leading
part in all matters connected with the welfare of the settlement.  For
fifteen years he was chairman of the Road Board, and was elected to the County
Council when that body was formed.  He was for many years chariman of the
school committee and licensing committee, also in the Commission of Peace, and
for many years attended actively to his duties in this department. Deceased took
great interest in all religious matters, and was senior deacon of the Church to
which he belonged, and whilst the district was without a minister conducted the
services in the Church. The immediate cause of death was a fall whilst walking
in the garden, which fractured a thigh bone, and caused a severe shock to the
nervous system.  At the time of his death he was aged seventy three years
of age.


Daily Southern Cross 21st March 1867

*note same article was repeated again on 1st April 1867 in the Daily Southern Cross

The British built ship Regina, 599 tons, Captain Liuthorne, arrived in port at 9 o'clock last evening, from London, with a full general cargo and twenty four passengers, after a pleasant passage of 107 days.  she reports having left the Downs on the 27th of November last, and discharged Channel pilot on the 29th, losing sight of land on the 3rd of December.  Passed outside the Cape de Verde Islands, and sighted the islands of Madeira and Port de Santal.  Experienced light N.E trades, and crossed the Equator on the 7th of January, in 26.20 W. had light S.E. trades, and reached the island of Trinidad on the 17th of January, where owing to the calm weather, the passengers were enabled to land in the small boats for a few hours' recreation.  Reached the meridian of the Cape of Good Hope on the 24th of February in 38'49, and ran down her easting in the parallel of 48' S. Encountered a strong gale on the 19th of February off Kergueleu's Land, which slightly damaged the ship, but carried away no sail.  Passed an iceberg to the Southward, before reaching the meridian of Van Diemen's Land, which was done on the 8th of March, in 45'45 S. Spoke the Anne Moore from Melbourne to Hokitika on the 12th instant, and sighted New Zealand coast on Monday last at 5 a.m., after experiencing three day's calm weather.  Reports having sighted a ship, apparently in ballast with painted ports, off Karallas, and steering north.  Spoke no other vessels during the passage. The Regina is a fine Sunderland-built ship, and comes consigned to Messrs. Harris and Laurie.  She reports no sickness during the passage.


Saloon:  Mr A. T. Watson, Miss E. S. Watson, Lionel, Mrs., and Lionel de Labrosse; Mrs Robert, G., and William M. Hill; Mrs., F. M., and Henry Wilkinson; Mr. H. H. Graham.

Second Cabin: W. J. Stoney, Henry A. and Elizabeth Thompson, C. R. Thatcher, Henry d' Algurn, Richard P. Jones, John and Martha smith, John B. Tindale, James H. Tanner, Thomas Parkin.

Loss of Life at Kaipara

We have been furnished with the following letter by Captain James, pilot at the Kaipara, detailing a boat accident, and loss of life at Kaipara.

To Captain James

 Dear Sir,

 I am sorry to have to relate to you a sad event which occurred on Monday last. I left Helensville on Friday night, the 11th  instant, on board my boat the ' Mosquito' having with me Thomas Condon, the builder.  We came that night as far as Shelly Beach, and anchored there for the night.  On Saturday morning we left before high water for the Heads, but when as far as the buoy, finding the sea rather heavy, and having our after hatch not closed, which caused us to ship some water, we ran back to Shelly Beach, being all the time under double-reef mainsail and staysail, and jib, wind blowing about W.S.W all the time.  On Sunday, the 13th we left before high water, with a light breeze, carrying whole mainsail and staysail, and jib. We reached your place about 10.30, and came to anchor to wait for the tide to cross the Heads and get up the Otamatea.  We left your place about 3 o'clock, with your directions to cross the bank, which we accomplished satisfactorily .  The breeze being light, we sent up the gaff top-sail, and reached Masefield's between 6 and 7 o'clock, and stopped there for the night.   On Monday, the 14th, about 5 o'clock a.m., got under-way for Pahi, with double-reefed mainsail and staysail, it blowing rather fresh from the eastward.  We beat against the tide, and got clear of Masefield's Bluff in three tacks, when we noticed some very dirty weather to the windward of us.  We brought up and anchored, took in the third reef, and waited until the squall was over.  It blew fearfully, and rained the whole time.  When the squall was over we got under-way on the starboard tack, so as not to get ourselves to windward, being able to run bar-free up the Arapaua.  We experienced some very heavy squalls,  which caused us to douse the peak several times.  The sea was pretty heavy, but the boat was riding over it like a bird, not shipping a drop of water.  We go on very well, and were as far as Whakapirau; the wind having moderated and heading us a little, we let go one reef, so as to get around the large bluff, which is just opposite Manukau's Point, without putting her round.  When getting near the township, Condon suggested to me that we ought to put the jib on her, the weather being clear and fine.  I said I thought she had enough, but if he thought she might carry it, he might please himself; so he went and put it on.  She was at the time running free.  We passed the township, and, when about half a quarter mile from it, a sudden squall struck us, coming right over the bluff.  I gave her all the helm I could, telling Condon at the same time to let fly the jib sheet.  She lay down considerably, and would not luff anymore, having too much headsail; and Condon not letting go the jib sheet, a second squall struck her as she was lying over, and she began to fill in the after hatch.  I told him to cut away the jib-halliards, but I believe the poor fellow had lost his presence of mind, for he stood motionless by the rigging.  When half full she began to right herself and go down stern first. I then shouted to Condon to look our for his life, when all the answer he gave me was "I cannot swim."  I told him then to catch hold of the oar that was on deck.  I jumped off to windward, and having my oilskins on, did not expect to be saved; but with aid of my knife, I soon stripped some of my clothes off, and, turning round, saw Condon struggling with a box about ten yards from me; but I saw no more of him after that moment.  I saw one of the hatches which came up, and made for it, thinking I could get to him, but my oilskins became entangled about my legs, I was unable to reach the poor fellow before he sank to rise no more.  Seeing no more of him, I thought I must now look out for my life, and catching hold of another hatch, I let the tide drift me up until I was picked up by Mt Herbert Metcalfe and Mr Coates, who were down at Mr Symonds's, and saw us go down.  Great praise is due to them, and to Mr Symonds also, for the exertions they made on our behalf, and for the promptitude with which they acted against wind and tide.  We have been searching for the body ever since, and dragged the river, but without success.

I remain, dear sir, most truly yours

Lionel de Labrosse

Daily Southern Cross 25th October 1867

- Sourced National Library of NZ

The Enquiry into the death of Lionel de

Te Aroha News 3rd July 1889

On Saturday morning last Lionel de Labrosse, the engineer at
Messrs Firth, Greenway and Co.'s flaxmill, Wairakau, was found lying dead
outside the door of his whare, which, with several other whares, is situated
close by the flaxmill, on the western bank of the Waihou river; a short distance
from Mr E. W. Hanmer's house.  Deceased appeared to have been dead some
little time, and had nothing but his under flannel shirt on.  Information
was sent to the police as soon as possible, who proceeded at once to Wairakau to
enquire into the matter; and on their return in the afternoon it was arranged to
hold an inquest next day at 10 a.m.


The inquest on the body of Lionel de Labrosse was held at the Wairakau flaxmills on Sunday morning, commencing at 11 a.m., some of the jury not arriving until nearly an hour after the appointed time.  The enquiry was presided over by Mr J, Ilott, J.P., Acting Coroner.  Constable Wild was present on behalf of the police, and the following jury were sworn; Messrs Defaur (Foreman), Firth, Astle, Johnston, Tippetts, and Bemrose.  The following witnesses gave evidence:


Charles Donaldson, an employee at the flaxmill, stated that he lived at Wairakau in a whare, not far from the whare of the deceased's.  Spent some hours with deceased in the latter's whare after tea on Friday evening, and left him about nine o'clock to go to bed, deceased lighting witness with his lantern part of the way to his (witness') whare, which was about two chains distant from that of the deceased's.  They then bade each other good night, and deceased went back to go to bed.  Once during the vening deceased complained of being griped in the stomach, but apparently the pain was not severe as he did not again refer to it that night, and chatted to witness during the evening as usual, and apparently in good health.  On Saturday morning, about seven o'clock, witness was aroused from his bed by a fellow workman named Coyle, who told him Labrosse was lying dead at the door of his whare.  He quickly jumped up and went to the place indicated, and found such was the case.  At once called out to Messrs Firth and Defaur, who slept near by, and assisted to carry deceased back to his bed.  From the appearance and position of the body as it lay on the ground, should think deceased must have very suddenly fallen down dead, as both his hands were underneath the body, and apparently he never moved after falling.  Deceased was lying full length to the ground.  There was no appearance from the features that he died in pain; the features being quite placid.  There was no sign of vomiting or frothing at the mouth.  Deceased had only his flannel under shirt on.  The only mark he could see on any part of the body was a scratch on the right hip, about skin deep, caused apparently by striking the edge of a box when he fell.  There was no sign of anything having been disturbed in the deceased's whare; the bedclothes were just thrown to one side as if the deceased had got out of bed in a natural way during the night, gone to the door, and fell down dead.  When he first saw the body it was getting stiff, and from appearances deceased had been dead for some hours.  So far as he knew deceased was on excellent terms with all those connected with the flaxmill, and they with him, and he (witness) had no reason to suppose deceased came to his death by other than natural causes.


The next witness examined was Peter Coyle, another employee at the flaxmill, whose evidence was generally very similar to that of the previous witness.  He stated that he found deceased lying dead about 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, in the position stated by the previous witness, whom he at once ran and called up.  From appearances he must have fallen down dead.  Last saw the deceased alive about half-past six  on Friday evening after tea, when he appeared to be in good health.  He believed deceased came to his death in a natural way.


E. T. Firth partner in the the firm of Firth, Greenway and Co., gave evidence to the effect that deceased had been in their employ at Wairakau for about two months.  Deceased came to them from Auckland, and bore an excellent character as being a steady workman.  Had no personal knowledge of deceased prior to his coming to work for them.  Never heard deceased complain of ill health.  Should say deceased was about fifty years of age.  Believed deceased had a wife living, and a home up Kaipara way, but did not know address.  Mr Greenway, who was present in Auckland, had been informed of the death of the deceased, and had telegraphed in reply stating that a son of deceased's would arrive by Monday's train from Auckland to attend the funeral..  Believed he was a Frenchman by birth.  Witness also deposed being called out on Saturday morning and finding deceased lying dead.  Deceased was on good terms with everyone at the flaxmill, and they with him.


Frederick Wild, police constable, stationed at Te Aroha, gave evidence of being informed by Mr Firth on Saturday morning of the death of the deceased, and stated he at once proceeded to Wairakau and amde all possible enquiries.  Carefully examined the body; there were no marks of violence, or injury of any kind, except one slight scratch, skin deep on the right hip.  Searched deceased's whare and effects; the only articles in the form of drugs were a few antibilious pills, and a small bottle of Percy Davis' painkiller, with just a little bit used.  Judging from appearances he should say the death resulted from natural causes, and he had no reason to suppose deceased cam to his death in any other way.

This was all the evidence.

In reply to the Coroner, the jury unanimously expressed the opinion that they did not consider it desirable to have the inquest adjourned and the services of a qualified medical man obtained for the purpose of a post mortem; but were unanimous in their verdict which was to the effect that 'deceased was round dead, that he had no marks of violence on his body, but by the visitation of God, in a natural way and not by any violent means, whatsoever, to the knowledge of the said jurors, did die.'

A son of the late Mr de Labrosse, arrived from Auckland by Monday's train, and at once proceeded to where the body of his father lay, at Wairakau; and arranged for the interment to take place at noon yesterday.  The body was brought down the river by boat to the nearest point of the Cemetary, and carried from thence, followed by young Mr Labrosse, Mr Defaur, and several of the mill hands.  Rev. Mr Norrie read the burial service. 

In an interview with young Mr Labrosse, he informs us that he has on several occasions known his father to get up out of bed and fall down unconscious in a fit, from which he usually recovered in about an hour; but he had been free of any such attack for some years past. His home was at Kaipara.  He leaves a wife, two sons and four daughters mourn his loss.  It would now appear only too probable the poor fellow fell down in a fit such as he had frequently had before, and no help being near, thus died.   

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(Daily Southern Cross 1st November 1866 Page 5)

On September 25, at the Mission-house, Rangiora by the Rev.
William Gittos, William J. Symonds, boat-builder of Pahi, Kaipara, Eldest son of
J. Symonds Esq., Hook Wood, Shipbourne, Kent, England, to Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Mr G. Haines, Pahi, late of Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.



(Te Aroha News 24th March 1888, Page 7)

This district has had a severe gloom thrown over it, caused by a fatal accident which occurred yesterday. Mr George Haines, storekeeper, has recently leased the orchard of Mr Thomas Coates, but was much annoyed by the ravages of wandering pigs.  Yesterday, in company with Mr Swallow, he went into the orchard for the purpose of gathering fruit, taking a double-barrel breach loader gun with him in case they should come across any pigs. On landing they saw a pig, and made chase.  Mr Haines fired, but the pig made off, Swallow going one way, and Haines another through the scrub, for the purpose of heading it.  Swallow says he heard another shot fired, and Haines called out, "Now we'll have him."  He then saw Haines with gun BR> uplifted, butt uppermost, as if he was in the act of striking the pig (although he could not say for certain, as there was some scrub between them).  He then heard another discharge, and running up, found Haines lying on the ground, quite unconscious.  He lifted his head, resting it on a tuft of rushes, and came to Pahi for help, obtaining which he returned, but Mr Haines was to all appearance dead.  they brought the body over to Pahi, and in Dr Mountaine's absence called in the aide of Dr. Fisher, who pronounced life extinct.  An inquest was held on August 20th, presided over by W. W. Ariell, Esq., J.P. and coroner, and evidence being taken, a verdict was returned of "Accidental death." The funeral will take place tomorrow. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Haines and family. The deceased was a general favourite, on account of his kind and obliging disposition, and will be very much regretted. - (Pahi correspondent).

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