Life at Riccarton before the Deans

Banks Peninsula whaler Edward Weller must have smiled to himself that October day in 1839.  Maybe he even waved goodbye to those members of the Ngai Tahu who had foolishly sold him Banks Peninsula and the greater part of the Port Cooper (Canterbury) Plains for an old whaler’s boat and a few items of clothing.  …

Jane Manson (1846 – 1901)

Jane Manson was the wife of John Manson, son of Samuel and Jean Manson who had accompanied William Deans to New Zealand from Scotland in 1840. After two years as employees of the Deans brothers at Riccarton (the first 3 years were in Wellington), the Mansons and another family named the Gebbies, moved onto their …

Jimmy Robinson Clough

Jimmy Robinson Clough was an British ex-convict, ex-whaler, farmer, boat and fence builder, a drunk, suspected bigamist and the first European to settle in Canterbury. In 1837, after spotting a beautiful Maori woman in Akaroa where his ship had dropped anchor, he deserted his post and married her.  They had 5 children together. In 1840 …

The Deans

William Deans (1817 – 1851)                               Drowned               Place of Death: Wellington Memorial at Barbadoes Street Cemetery * Christchurch’s First Justice of Peace. John Deans (1820 – 1854)                                   Died of T.B.            Place of Death: Riccarton Buried at Barbadoes Street Cemetery Jane Deans (1823 – 1911)                                   Died of old …

PREBBLETON – James Prebble (1799 – 1877)

I’m sure when new born John Aurora Prebble (spelt Prible on some documents) was placed in the arms of his mother Ann, the discomfort and pain of the delivery faded away when she looked for the first time into his wrinkled little face. Maybe the fact that she had given birth aboard the ‘Aurora’ – …

Deans Head

I’m sure as the schooner ‘Ballet’ sailed down the east coast of the Middle (South) Island, William Deans leaned against the deck railing and watched the passing coastline with great interest. He was aboard Captain Edward Daniell’s schooner as an approved stow-away and he held great hopes for what he might find down on the …

Thomas Hanmer (1827 – 1892)

Thomas Hanmer (1827-1892) is mostly known as the man which Hanmer Springs is named after – even though he never settled there. He was the first to survey the area in 1852. Named “Te Whakatakaka O Te O Ahi Tamatea” by the Maori, to the Europeans it was a good route to drive their cattle …

What An Event!!!!

I can never look at a view of our beautiful Lyttelton Harbour without looking for the ‘Charlotte Jane’ to come sailing around the corner of the heads – just like she would have done on the 16th December 1850, carrying the first of our Anglican settlers. So would have loved to have seen that historic …

Previous Earthquakes

On the 25th January 1855, Wellington experienced a city changing 8.2 earthquake which was felt county-wide. Jane Deans writes: “One the 25th of January (1855) we had a severe shock of a earthquake, the worst I had felt till then. It did a great deal of damage to Nelson and Wellington, though not so much …