Henry James BENTLEY 1819-1902
Henry Bentley was an A.B. merchant seaman on the ship "Lord William Bentinck" that arrived in Wellington on the 19th of May, 1841. With five companions Henry ran away from the vessel while it was moored in Wellington Harbour. They hid in the hills and bush at Korokoro until they saw the ship leave. He was subsequently caught and arrested as a deserter, and discharged on promising to join a coastal vessel. After the 1843 Wairau massacre, Henry left the Government brig "Victoria", on which he had worked for some time. Subsequently he served in the militia, and afterwards joined the armed constabulary, serving against the notorious chiefs Tauparaha and Rangihaeata.
Henry married a girl who had been a passenger on the same ship from England. They settled in Karori where there were small land blocks being cleared. In 1853 Henry visited the Australian goldfields. But he speedily returned to Karori and selected land at Masterton.
When Wairarapa opened up in 1855 the family (Henry, Elizabeth and 4 children) travelled to Masterton with two or three other families from Karori. Elizabeth was the youngest at only one year old.
The first settlers in Masterton arrived only in 1854. Henry Bentley was one of those early settlers. That year Henry Burling drove the first dray to the top of the Rimutakas, it was only a track beyond that point. Masterton's 40 acre sections were ballotted at Wellington's Crown and Anchor tavern in April 1855. That's when the Bentleys and the other families travelled to Masterton.
During the Maori scare that followed the initial settlements Henry Bentley served as lieutenant in the volunteers. For over forty years Henry was identified with every movement for the advancement of the district. He was a Council member for a time. He experienced a number of cycles of success and failure, including bankruptcy. He is said to have owned the first donkey in Masterton.
Bentley's farm stretched from Opaki Road, across the Waipoua River, and down past Lincoln Road. The Bentley's section 57 was subdivided for housing in the 1880's. Bentley Street in that area of Masterton is named after Henry Bentley.
Met his future wife on board also coming to NZ
New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator, Volume II, Issue 110,
26 January 1842, Page 3D
By the Rev John McFarlane
December 16, Henry Bentley, formerly of the County of Sussex, to Caroline Cornford, formerly of Marsden Reach; now of Port Nicholson.
Taranaki Herald Vol L, Issue 11937, 10 April 1902, Page 3
(Per Press Association)
Masterton, April 10 - Henry Bentley, an old Wairarapa colonist, died to-day, aged 84.
Henry James b.6.11.1842 d.9.3.1843
Thomas William b.18.7.1846 d.18.11.1925 m Fanny SWAN 20.2.1873
Charles b.8.9.1848 d.19.12.1932 m Barbara MUTRIE 20.1.1874
George b.21.3.1851 d.26.12.1895 m Alice WORTH 1888
Elizabeth b.15.7.1854 d.12.3.1919 m John Thomas DUFFY 31.12.1872
James b.12.11.1856 d.10.3.1921 m Jane CREAMER 14.1.1891
m Mary CREAMER 1894
Mary Anne b.21.11.1858 d.30.1.1919 m Robert ANDREW 28.10.1877
Frances b. 13.10.1860 d.1914 m Ernest STYLES 12.8.1881