• Manuscript map & sketch of the property at Okiato, Bay of Islands.

    Manuscript map & sketch of the property at Okiato, Bay of Islands.

    James Reddy Clendon, an English trader, bought about 220 acres at Ōkīato in the Bay of Islands in December 1830 from Pōmare II. The land was paid for mainly with arms and ammunition which enabled Pōmare II to strengthen his pa at Ōtūihu further up the Kawakawa River.

    Within two years Clendon had built a raupō hut on the hill with a cookhouse, shed and store on the beach, as shown in this sketch. By 1838 he had further developed the property with a store holding 500 tons of goods, a blacksmith’s shop, a four-room cottage and a substantial wharf. This was what Hobson purchased in 1840 as the site for the proposed capital.
    Manuscript map and sketch of the property at Okiato, Bay of Islands. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.
  • James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.

    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849 - page 1.

    Running a trading post in New Zealand was financially precarious. Although outwardly prosperous, James Clendon described the difficulties he faced in this crossed letter to his brother John in England. He had to sell the presents his wife Sarah received from her friends to pay for the house and detached kitchen built in 1834-1835. Added to this, the theft of his schooner Fortitude and the loss of Fanny at sea in 1836 increased the substantial debt he already owed to his father in England.

    As postage was charged on each sheet of a letter, writers economised by writing on each page twice, the second time at right angles to the first.
    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.
  • James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.

    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849 - page 2.

    Running a trading post in New Zealand was financially precarious. Although outwardly prosperous, James Clendon described the difficulties he faced in this crossed letter to his brother John in England. He had to sell the presents his wife Sarah received from her friends to pay for the house and detached kitchen built in 1834-1835. Added to this, the theft of his schooner Fortitude and the loss of Fanny at sea in 1836 increased the substantial debt he already owed to his father in England.

    As postage was charged on each sheet of a letter, writers economised by writing on each page twice, the second time at right angles to the first.
    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.
  • James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.

    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849 - page 3.

    Running a trading post in New Zealand was financially precarious. Although outwardly prosperous, James Clendon described the difficulties he faced in this crossed letter to his brother John in England. He had to sell the presents his wife Sarah received from her friends to pay for the house and detached kitchen built in 1834-1835. Added to this, the theft of his schooner Fortitude and the loss of Fanny at sea in 1836 increased the substantial debt he already owed to his father in England.

    As postage was charged on each sheet of a letter, writers economised by writing on each page twice, the second time at right angles to the first.
    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.
  • James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.

    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849 - page 4.

    Running a trading post in New Zealand was financially precarious. Although outwardly prosperous, James Clendon described the difficulties he faced in this crossed letter to his brother John in England. He had to sell the presents his wife Sarah received from her friends to pay for the house and detached kitchen built in 1834-1835. Added to this, the theft of his schooner Fortitude and the loss of Fanny at sea in 1836 increased the substantial debt he already owed to his father in England.

    As postage was charged on each sheet of a letter, writers economised by writing on each page twice, the second time at right angles to the first.
    James Clendon. Letter to his brother John. 1844. From: James Clendon. Papers. NZMS 849.
  • James Busby. Letter to Gilbert Mair, 21 June 1841. NZMS 185

    James Busby. Letter to Gilbert Mair, 21 June 1841. NZMS 185

    Most traders were not self-sufficient within New Zealand, relying on mail delivery to keep in touch with a network of agents, business partners and family in Australia and the United Kingdom. James Busby paid threepence to send this letter from Sydney to Gilbert Mair in June 1841. The page was folded and closed with sealing wax to form an envelope. As there was no organised mail service between Australia and New Zealand until 1858, mail was carried by ships’ captains as ship letters. Busby’s letters to Mair are full of news regarding business deals, timber prices and New Zealand news as reported in Australia.
    James Busby. Letter to Gilbert Mair, 21 June 1841. NZMS 185
  • Bill of sale for goods bought of Ewen McLennan, wholesale and retail dealer, Bay of Islands… 1843. NZMS 1481.

    Bill of sale.

    Not all transactions were in cash. Ewen McLennan’s letterhead advertised his willingness to exchange goods for oil and colonial produce.
    Bill of sale for goods bought of Ewen McLennan, wholesale and retail dealer, Bay of Islands… 1843. NZMS 1481.
  • The New Zealand advertiser and Bay of Islands gazette.8 October 1840. Kororareka: G.A. Eager.

    The New Zealand advertiser and Bay of Islands gazette.8 October 1840. Kororareka: G.A. Eager.

    Newspaper advertisements reflected the business of the Bay of Islands. Alcohol, tea and tobacco, clothing and fabrics, paint and pickles, buildings and land were for sale. Ships were available for charter or advertising for passengers. There were few job opportunities.

    Possibly Barzillai Quaife, the owner of The New Zealand advertiser and Bay of Islands gazette was testing his readers when he inserted the notice about ‘8 day clocks guaranteed to run 16 days without winding or stopping and to give 2 quarts of milk per diem’.
    The New Zealand advertiser and Bay of Islands gazette. 8 October 1840.
  • Manuscript map of Wahapu, containing 298 acres situated in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, the property of Mr Gilbert Mair. 1834. NZ map 4604.

    Manuscript map of Wahapu.

    This map of Gilbert Mair’s property at Te Wahapū in the Bay of Islands was drawn in 1834, and added to in 1838.

    The additions show Mair’s house and also mark another block of land (marked DLMN) which Mair purchased ‘of the natives’ in 1837.
    Manuscript map of Wahapu, containing 298 acres situated in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, the property of Mr Gilbert Mair. 1834. NZ map 4604.
  • Manuscript chart of Kawhia Harbour. Drawn by Captain Thomas Wing. 1836. NZ map 4612.

    Manuscript chart of Kawhia Harbour. Drawn by Captain Thomas Wing. 1836. NZ map 4612.

    The 41-foot schooner Fanny was built in 1834 at G. F. Russell’s shipyard at Horeke on the Hokianga for the partnership of James Clendon and Samuel Stephenson. Thomas Wing, Stephenson’s cousin, was appointed shipmaster. Fanny made three voyages to Australia carrying timber and whale oil, as well as pork, potatoes and maize from Māori growers.

    In 1835 Wesleyan missionaries chartered the Fanny for voyages to mission stations on the northern harbours of New Zealand. William Woon’s mission house, a ‘native village’ and another cluster of houses can be seen.

    Wing’s map of the Kāwhia Harbour may be the first detailed chart of these waters.
    Manuscript chart of Kawhia Harbour. Drawn by Captain Thomas Wing. 1836. NZ map 4612.