Amos Smart, Sefton, Waimakariri 1850-1919
Star, 20 Dec 1910 - THE OLD COLONIST Looking Backward.
In The Days Of Long Ago ~ Mr Amos Smart, one of the arrivals by the Randolph, now a farmer at Sefton, told something about the way the new arrivals in the province had to put their shoulder to the wheel sixty years ago. Mr Smart came out under Mr Henry Phillips and was twenty-two at the time he arrived in Lyttelton. His first job was as cook for Mr Phillip's employees at Lyttelton, his culinary experience having been picked up on the voyage out in the Randolph. Next he was required to turn carter and assisted from some time in carting timber from the little landing stage on the Avon at "The Bricks" (near what is now the Barbadoes Street Bridge) to the site of the Public Works buildings, which were then in course of construction. In the absence of roads the carting was a pretty strenuous business. The pay was 4s 6d a day. On two nights in each week Mr Smart was required to go over the hills to Lyttelton and bring back 200lb of flour on a pack-horse. That business took all night and he had to start carting again at eight o'clock next morning, so that twice a week he had no sleep at night at all. On leaving the carting job he entered the service of Mr John Deans, where he "did anything his hand found to do." Amongst other things he planted the thorn fences which still remain on the Deans Estate. One carting job still sticks in Mr Smart's memory and that was the transporting of the iron for the fireplace in Mr John Anderson's first house.
Press, 6 Sep 1913 "I Remember" When The World Was Young Beginnings Of Sefton
Mr Amos Smart is one of the pioneers of Sefton and in an interview with a 'Press' representative he gave some particulars of his voyage out from Home and of his early labours in Canterbury.
"Our ship, the Randolph" said Mr Smart, "sailed from Plymouth on September 8th 1859, just sixty-three years since and arrived at Port Lyttelton at 3.30p.m. on December 16th. The 'Charlotte Jane', which left the same port at noon on September 7th, had beaten us by 5½ hours. The 'Sir George Seymour' and 'Cressy', which weighed anchor to leave the Old Land for the Antipodes, arrived one day and nine days later respectively. The event of the voyage of the 'Randolph' was that a passenger booked by the 'Charlotte Jane' who was left and came with us - Mr Cyrus Davie - was able to join his ship and his belongings in mid-ocean and he beat us in the race for Canterbury. There were eleven of my family and three are still living. It was possible in those days to get work with only a few who had money to employ labour."
Some of Mr Smart's first work was put in on the Riccarton Bush estate of Mr John Deans and also for Mr W. Guise Brittan (William Guise Brittan, (1809-1876) first Commissioner of Crown Lands for Canterbury). It was while so employed that he put up the first official flagpole in Christchurch in front of the Land Office. Mr Smart was engaged to bring in two posts from Riccarton bush for a rain gauge and a sun dial respectively and brought in the flagpole in question, which stood in the then centre of the city in a space subsequently known as the Market Place. It was cut by the Smart brothers and carted out by Mr William Todd, who was the possessor of a team comprising a chestnut and a grey, the latter called Turpin.
The pole was long and heavy and in coming to town the overhanging end struck a bank, bringing the heavy butt down on poor Turpin's loins. The horse was crippled and its loss was a serious one to its owner, who valued it at about £80. The pole was safely erected and was a land mark for years.
One of Mr Smart's first contracts was fencing a section for Mr Horace Brown at Papanui and when it was passed, the event was celebrated with a wine supper at the White Hart, Christchurch. Mr John Marshman was at this time farming on the Lincoln road, near Sunnyside and here for a time Mr Smart did his reaping and managed the threshing with a one-horse power machine, which had superseded the flail. Subsequently there was surveying work to be done at Cashmere and the young man, now having reached his majority, started with tents and pack-horse for Cridland to make a flying traverse. This finished, he went to Mount Grey to fence 500 acres for Mr J. Marshman.
This district was then but little known except for wild pigs. He was in charge of three sets of men - fencers, farm hands and carpenters - who went to erect Mr Marshman's house. They started ploughing with a single-furrow swing plough, drawn by four bullocks. Mr Marshman, about 1860, was appointed Emigration Officer in England and left Mr Smart in charge, providing a house 12ft x 24ft and was to supply him with cows, but failed to do so and the estate remained for many years a sheep run.
As time went on and his engagement terminated, Mr Smart settled down near the scene of his former labours, on a very charming piece of rich agricultural land. He he is able to relate who were the first-comers to the district, the history of the roads and public works up to the formation of the northern railway, on which trains are now passing and repassing within a region which, in the 'fifties, was silent except for the cries of native birds. The land in its then primitive state was sold at £2 per acre, but is now realising between £40 and £50 and in place of the old tussock grass, prolific crops of grain and roots are grown.
Sun, 15 Sep 1915
SMART - On September 14, at Sefton, Amos Smart, the beloved husband of Margaret; aged 84 years
* Amos is buried at Balcairn Cemetery
Press, 17 Sep 1915
Mr AMOS SMART, who arrived in Lyttelton by the ship Randolph sixty-five years ago, died at his home, Sefton, on Tuesday, aged 84 years. Some of his first work was to assist the surveyors on the Riccarton Estate and he was also in the employ of Mr W. Guise Brittan. He helped to obtain and erect a flag-pole at the Christchurch Lands Office and to erect posts for a rain gauge and sundial. In succession he was employed by Mr Horace Brown, Papanui, Mr John Marshman, Lincoln road and Mr Cridland, surveyor. As time went on he became manager for Mr Marshman of his Mt Grey Estate, subsequently settling on a farm at Sefton and residing on it till his decease. Mr Smart rarely, if ever, missed the gatherings of his ship-mates on Anniversary Day and could relate many interesting stories of the past.
* Amos Smart was born in Moulton, England, the 3rd of 14 children of William Smart (1805-1853) & Sarah Wilson (1810-1873) who arrived into Lyttelton on the Randolph, departing Gravesend 4 Sep 1850 and Plymouth 7 Sep 1850. They arrived into Lyttelton on Monday, 16 Dec 1850 with their 12 children. Two further children were born in Christchurch
* Amos (1831-1915) married Margaret Frances Hulcup (1834-1919) 4 Aug 1856 in St Michael's Church, Christchurch and had 15 children (a journal will be written a little later)