Captain McLean (1826 – 1871)

I have always been very fortunate with my diggings (excuse the pun) around cemeteries when I find a tombstone that seems to offer up a good story.  I enjoy nothing more than putting together the puzzle made from a few clues but this Captain McLean is keeping his secrets buried with him.  I have more …

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.  …

Jimmy Robinson Clough (1811 – 1874)

Jimmy Robinson Clough (1811 – 1874)    Died of old age      Place of Death: Alford Forest, Canterbury * One of the first Europeans to settle in Canterbury – namely Akaroa. * First European to travel up the Avon River. * Built the flagpole and was present at Green’s Point, Akaroa where the British Flag …

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 …

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 …

The Weeping Willows Of Christchurch

The Weeping Willows of Christchurch has such a lovely sound to it 😉 By the Avon in Victoria Square, the story of Canterbury’s Weeping Willows are told on this plaque, a nearby Willow it seems standing guard 🙂 François Lelievre was born in Les Parlierre, France around the year of 1811. He grew up on …

First European To Travel Down The Avon Died – 1874

In 1874, Jimmy Robinson Clough, one of Canterbury’s first permanent European settlers died in his Alfred Forest cottage (pictured). It is believed that he was the first European to travel down the Ōtākaro – the Avon River. In 1837, after spotting a beautiful Maori woman in Akaroa where his whaling ship had dropped anchor, he …