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the settlers of MATAWHERO slain in the 1868 New Zealand WAR

Journal by ngairedith

Matawhero is 8km east of Gisborne
- (written about 1900 that link has many names and photos of the early settlers)

Makaraka Cemetery (also known as Houhoupiko Cemetery) is located on State Highway 2, 5 km north-west of the East Coast city of Gisborne and 2 km north-east of Matawhero. Makaraka was Gisbornes first cemetery. Now closed to burials, it is maintained as an historic site

In the early hours of 10 November 1868, a war party led by Te Kooti Rikirangi of Rongowhakaata struck the small settlement of Matawhero. The attack was utu for Te Kooti's treatment after his capture at Waerenga-a-hika, three years earlier. Some 70 Maori and Europeans, including babies and the elderly, were killed. Eight months later many of the European remains were exhumed from the scattered graves in which they had been buried and reinterred in a section of riverside land set aside as a cemetery.

There were 45 Europeans and half-castes in Matawhero (five miles from Gisborne) when that area was invaded. Twenty-one were slain outright and one (Mrs. Wilson) received fatal injuries. The number of Europeans and half-castes at Makaraka (four miles from Gisborne) was 56, of whom all but three escaped. All the other European residents on the Flats got safely away, excepting three in the locality now known as King's Road and a like number on Repongaere. Most of the native victims lived on the outskirts of, or at no great distance from, Matawhero

In the aggregate the slain comprised: Europeans 29, of whom 13 were adult males, 7 adult females and 9 children; half-castes 4, of whom 3 were males and one a female; natives approximately 30; grand total, 63

On the 18th November 1868 a large armed party was sent out, under Captain A. Tuke, to bury the victims. Most of the bodies lay well clear of the debris of the burned homes

The names on the Memorial were taken from Matawhero NZ Wars memorial

A lot of information was taken from List of Victims at NZETC

They are now all buried together on the riverside in PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery - read individual notes for the original burials

Front face:
To the memory of those massacred by Te Kooti. A.D. 1868 In the midst of life we are in death: of whom may we seek for succour but of thee O Lord.

P.B.M.R.V stands for: Poverty Bay Mounted Rifles Volunteers

Face A:
Massacred November 10th 1868

Reginald Newton BIGGS
- born about 1830
- Major Commanding and R.M. of this district
- resident magistrate at Turanga
- managed a sheep property called 'Mingaroa in Manawatu for Major Trafford
- it is said that Reginald and his family were the first to be massacred. That he was one of Te Kooti's targets. Te Kooti approached his house around midnight on 9th November. He is rumoured to have knocked on the door of Biggs' house. When asked 'Who's there?' Kooti replied 'Open up and see.'
- died aged 38 years
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery
- he, his wife and child are buried together
- a seperate grave was made for their nurse

Emily Maira BIGGS (nee DUDLEY)
- born about 1848
- was born in Canterbury and was a noted horsewoman
- died aged 19
- wife of Reginald above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

George BIGGS
- born about 1867
- died aged 1
- son of Emily & Reginald above
- his nurse, Jane FARRELL was also killed with them
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

James PADBURY
- born about 1836
- Sergeant P.B.M.R.V.
- Poverty Bay Mounted Rifle Volunteers
- killed with his partner Lieutenatn James Walsh & family
- died aged 32
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Jane FARRELL (Mrs)
- born about 1842
- died aged 26
- nurse for the BIGGS family (see above)
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

James WALSH
- born about 1835
- Lieutenant P.B.M.R.
- died aged 33
- killed with his partner Sergeant James Padbury
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Emma WALSH
- born about 1842
- died aged 26
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Nora Ellen WALSH
- born about 1867
- died aged 1
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

John McCULLOCK
- born about 1840
- Trooper P.B.M.R.
- died aged 28
- husband of Jane below
- killed along with his wife Jane, their daughter Emily, a neice Maria Goldsmith & Albert Edward Goldsmith, (both half caste)
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Jane McCULLOCK
- born about 1843
- died aged 25
- wife of John above (see his notes)
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Emily Jane McCULLOCK
- born about 1866
- died aged 2
- daughter of John & Jane above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Mary McDONALD
- born about 1861
- died aged 7
- neice of John McCULLOCK above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

John CADLE
- born about 1840
- Trooper with the Mounted Rifles
- died aged 28
- John was buried alone
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Richard RATHBONE
- born unknown
- Trooper P.B.M.R.
- assistant to Lieutenant George Dodd & Richard Rathbone
- aged unknown
- died his body not found but records him as:
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery


Face B:
Massacred December 12th, 1868 at Opou

Finlay FERGUSON
- born about 1852
- Trooper P.B.M.R.
- died aged 26
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

William WYLIE
- born about 1854
- died aged 14 years
- half-caste son of J.R. Wylie
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Benjamin MacKAY/MacKEY
- born about 1854
- died aged 14 years
- half-caste son of James Mackey
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery
- Benjamin's father, James David Mackey was born at North Shields in 1800. Starting life as a coal-pit boy he drifted into the Navy and was present at the Battle of Navarino in 1827. In 1840 he took up his residence at Muriwai and became a whaler. Afterwards, for some years, he operated a boat ferry on the Turanganui River. He died in October 1884. Ra Mackey, a brother of Benjaim's, was prominent in the coastal trade as a master mariner


Face C :
Massacred November 10th, 1868

James WILSON
- born about 1836
- Captain with N.Z. Militia
- was born in 1836 in Belvedere, Kent
- with his father in law, T. Lowry, he leased a property at Karaetaha, Poverty Bay
- died aged 32 years
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery
- buried with his 3 children & the manservant John Moran

Alice Sweetman WILSON (nee LOWRY)
- born about 1838
- daughter of T. Lowry of Okawa
- died aged 30, succumbed on 17th December 1868 to bayonet wounds inflicted on her by Wi HERETAUNGA & Eru PEKA while trying to protect her infant daughter. She managed to write a note and her son James spent 2 days trying to find his way to Turanganui, some five miles distant, but on each occasion, he became confused in regard to the right track and returned to his mother. Again on Monday he set out. Near the site of the hotel at Makaraka his little dog Flo began to bark and he was found, hiding among some scrub, by a reconnoitring party consisting of John Maynard, Tom Goldsmith and George Cook. Goldsmith took him in to Turanganui and brought back Dr. J. Murray Gibbs of Waipukurau (who had accompanied the first relief contingent from Napier) and a party to assist in carrying Mrs. Wilson.
- Jane was the wife of James above
- 3 of their 4 children were also killed, along with their manservant John MORAN
- their 4th child James 'Jimmy' (aged 8 at the time of attack) was presented with a piece of land by the Government as a gratuity. He was born in Hawkes Bay in 1861, became a noted rifle shot and was one of New Zealand's representatives at Bisley, Surrey in 1902. He died in Rangiora in May 1942 aged 81.
- Alice had a sister in Okawa, T. H. Lowry, who came up to assist
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery
.. Heretaunga was sentenced to death and hanged (his nephew Kepa Te AHURU, insisted that he be allowed to carry out the sentence)

Alice WILSON
- born about 1862
- died aged 6
- daughter of James & Alice above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Edwin James WILSON
- born about 1864
- died aged 4
- son of James & Alice above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Jessie Gertrude WILSON
- born about 1867
- died aged 1½
- daughter of James & Alice above
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

John MANN
- born about 1839
- Trooper with the Mounted Rifles
- died aged 29
- husband of Emma
- John's home was at Makaraka, about a mile closer to Turanganui than Matawhero and was 1 of 5 homes that was raided
- John and Emma are buried in a single grave
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Emma MANN
- born about 1865
- died aged 23
- wife of John above, their child was not found
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

unknown name or age, MANN
- the child of John & Emma above
- the body was never found

Robert NEWNHAM
- born about 1808
- Trooper P.B.M.R.
- Robert's home was two miles north-east of Matawhero and was 1 of 5 that was raided
- Robert, his wife Jane & their adopted child were slain on 11th November 1868
- died aged 60
- no bodies were found at his place but there was a newly dug grave
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Jane NEWNHAM
- born about 1823
- died aged 45
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

unnamed child MUNN
- born about 1867
- died aged 1
- adopted child of Trooper Robert Newnham & his wife Jane
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

John MORAN
- born about 1808
- Private in the NZ Militia
- died aged 60
- manservant to Captian James & ALice Wilson
- buried with the Wilsons
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Maria GOLDSMITH
- born about 1852
- died aged 16
- along with her 4 year old brother Albert Goldsmith & the McCullochs
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Albert Edward GOLDSMITH
- born about 1864
- died aged 4
- brother of Maria above, see Maria's notes
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

George Neville DODD
- born about 1828
- Lieutenant with the NZ Militia
- the home of Dood & Peppardstood about four miles north of Matawhero and was one of 5 raided
- died aged 40
- killed with Troopers Richard Peppard & Rathbone
- George & Richard could not be buried until 2nd December on account of the proximity of the rebels
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery

Richard PEPPARD
- born about 1843
- Trooper P.B.M.R.
- born about 1843, only son of John Peppard of Limerick, Ireland
- died aged 25
- buried PLOT 1, BLOCK MKOLD/PBMM at Makaraka Cemetery


There was also about 30 'loyal natives' slain but not all the names have been traced:

- At PUKEPUKE:
Himiona KATIPA
Paora te WHARAU
Ratana TUKURANGI
Rangi WHAITIRI
Riki AATA

- At WAITARA:
Tutere Kapai (or KONOHI)
Eriapa KAPAI

- near MATAWHERO:
Piripi TAKETAKE, his wife Harata and three children Pera, Taraipene and Te Paea
Hoera Whakamiha
Pera KARAREHE (or TAIHUKA) (Kararehe was the elder brother of Matenga Taihuka. Both Matenga and his father (Pehimana) were among the Chatham Island exiles. Matenga became one of Te Kooti's lieutenants, but deserted him, swore allegiance to the Queen and accepted Christianity)

- At OWETA: 10 were slain but only 5 have been traced
Paratene TURANGI was a Rongowhakaata chief. He visited Te Kooti at Patutahi on the day following the massacre. Te Kooti, according to Tuta, had Paratene brought out to him. One hand was stretched forth by Te Kooti in mock welcome; the other, which he held behind him, gripped a tomahawk. Greetings, my father! said Te Kooti, who stroked the petrified Paratene's cheek as if in affection. Paratene was then struck and almost decapitated
Ihimaera HOKOPU
Renata WHAKAARI
Iraia RIKI
Te Hira HOKOPU (or Hira te KAI), who was fatally wounded and died on 6th December

Others known to have been slain are:
Rawiri TAIAU
and on 12th December David KINIHA aged 14

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2010-07-21 23:18:33

PECK of TAITA

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