the body of Archibald MILNE - Wellington 1841
newspaper clippings from Papers Past
Petone, is located at the southern end of the narrow triangular plain of the Hutt River, on the northern shore of Wellington Harbour. The name, from the Maori Pito-one, means "end of the sand beach". In the early days it was spelt Petoni
Alexander Milne, aged 26 (1813-1841) arrived into Port Nicholson (Wellington) 17 March 1841, on board the Lady Nugent which left Gravesend 10 Oct 1840,
With him was his wife Margaret, aged 24, an unnamed son aged 3 and a 13 month old daughter who died at sea on 10 Nov 1840 from teething problems.
Also on board was *William Scott Milne aged 16 (1824-1913)
3 March 1841 on board the LADY NUGENT at sea 23 Feb 1841
to Edmund Halswell, Esq., from the passengers per Lady Nugent
... Dear and respected Sir, - We, the intermediate passengers per the Lady Nugent, from London to New Zealand, beg to offer you our warmest thanks for the general urbanity shewn us and for your unremitted attention to our comforts, but particularly at times when we were compelled to request your aid and interposition with regard to the state of our dietary &c.; such sets of disinterested kindness shewn to complete strangers, shall not soon, if ever, be effaced from our minds. Again accept our heartfelt expressions of gratitude to you, not only as a shareholder of the New Zealand Company, but as a private friend
Your unwearied attention and numberless acts of benevolence towards the (otherwise nearly neglected) emigrants, both old and young, are at all times subjects of admiration amongst us, - and we are well aware that your endeavours to promote their happiness are fully appreciated, by all well disposed and right thinking individuals among them.
That you may arrive safely in New Zealand enjoy (with Mr Beauchamp) all health and happiness. while there find your duties and labours not only agreeable, to your evidently benevolent mind, but more light and easy than you can at present contemplate, and on your return home enjoy many happy years with your lady and family, are the sincere wishes of
Your much obliged humble servants,
J. H. GREENWOOD
18 December 1841 - PETONE, Wellington
... On Wednesday afternoon, the body of a man was discovered laying on the beach about a mile from Petoni. It was at first supposed to be the body of Mr Dunn, who perished by the upsetting of Coglan's boat, but on removal to Petoni, it was recognised as the body of Mr Archibald Milne. An inquest was held on the body at Petoni; the following is the substance of the evidence
The body was discovered lying on the beach near the bark house, partly in the sea, with the head towards the land, the tide had washed the shirt and waistcoat over his head, and the back was naked. The rest of the clothes, viz. a blue jacket, a cap, whitish moleskin trowsers (sic), and a watch, had been taken away. there was a severe cut at the back of the head on the left side, about an inch in length, possibly inflicted with a tomahawk or some such weapon, and directed upwards and backwards', skull was fractured by the blow, and immediate death must have ensued. The chin and lower lip were severely lacerated, and the front teeth in the upper jaw broken, and contusions were on the chest, as if the body had been dragged over the beach. Mr Milne left Petoni for Wellington on Tuesday evening, about half past seven o'clock; he had been drinking, but was by no means intoxicated, and was quite capable of taking care of himself.
One of the witnesses going to the Koro Koro; he described him as a young man not tattooed. When last seen alone, he had passed the bark house (where he was found) about half a mile, and was walking very fast, and appeared to be afraid of a maori who followed about six or eight yards behind him. The maori, whose description agrees with that of the native seen following him at the Koro Koro, spoke a few words to the witnesses who last saw him, and then ran after deceased. The witnesses met another Maori at the Koro Koro, who was also going towards Wellington. The inquest was adjourned to procure if possible the evidence of the Maori, to whom suspicion is attached.
22 December 1841 - the INQUEST
... The following evidence was adduced at the above investigation:-
JOHN WRIGHT CHILD sworn - I saw a boy on Wednesday, the 15th, who informed me he had seen a body lying in the water, about two miles from Petoni, along the beach. I called on the head constable and took a small boat, and went with him and picked up the body, which was lying on the beach, back upwards, the fingers touched the ground within two or three yards of the beach, it being that time (four o'clock in the evening) about a quarter flood. There were many large rocks where he lay, and a slight swell on the water. The body had no clothes on, except a shirt, waistcoat, flannel drawers, and one stocking. The shirt and waistcoat were washed over the shoulders, so as to leave the back exposed. We then brought the body to Mr Burcham's house
- Examined by the Jury - The water where he lay was about two feet six; did not examine the nature of the ground
- By the Coroner - The body was close along side of a large rock, but perfectly free, and moved with every undulation of the tide
- By the Jury - Do not think his shirt and waistcoat had been pulled over his head. The waistcoat was unbuttoned. A little foam ran from the nose when we moved the body, but not from the mouth. There was a slight smearing of the blood on the face. Do not recollect seeing any hole in the shirt, when it was over the head
JABEZ ALLEN sworn - I came home from Wellington on Tuesday about 7 o'clock. Near Mr Burcham's fence I met the deceased; he returned with me to my house and we drank a glass of ale and ginger beer together. He remained about a quarter of an hour; he had the appearance of having been drinking. He stated when I met him, that he was going to Wellington. Having left the room a few minutes, on my return I learned that deceased had left the house
- Examined by the Coroner - Deceased was in a fit state to walk to Wellington, though he staggered a little in his walk when I met him
- By the Jury - I was not absent from the house above a few minutes. We had a bottle of ale and a bottle of ginger beer. Deceased had no quarrel with any one. He seemed much affected by the death of Mr Dunn. When he left my house, he might have gone into Coglan's, but I did not see him. There was sufficient light to see from my house to the Koro Koro. It was about sunset. Am decidedly of opinion he was perfectly capable of taking care of himself home. He had a dog with him when he returned with me
ADRIAN LOWE sworn - I live at Mr Allen's occasionally. I remember deceased coming to Mr Allen's on Tuesday afternoon, about 5 or 6 o'clock. He called for a pint of wine, with which I served him. Mr Rush told me he had been there before, and had three glasses of porter. I charged him for the porter along with the wine he had. He went away about 9 o'clock; was not quite sober, but not drunk; he walked quite upright, talked a little thick; believed him to be capable to take care of himself; did not see him stagger; he was not what is called fresh; he could walk without assistance. He left two full glasses of wine and could not have drank much; was in good spirits; could not say he could have gone to Wellington had he taken more. I met him in the afternoon between three and four o'clock crossing the swamp, and going up towards Mr Garrod's. He appeared to have been drinking then. When he came the second time he could not have had any liquor besides the wine, without my knowledge
- By the Jury - He had no quarrel, while in Mr Allen's, with any person; no person treated him to my knowledge
JOHN FOWLER sworn - Was at Wellington on Tuesday; went down in the morning and returned in the afternoon; came over with William Leckie; we left Lodge's, at Kai Warra Warra, along with Baker and his wife, and overwalked them about a mile from Ngahuranga. I do not recollect meeting with any one on the road. We arrived at the Koro Koro about 8 oclock; Leckie walked on; I went into Barrows and stayed about a quarter of an hour; when I came out I saw Baker and his wife; I did not speak but believed it to be them; I did not meet deceased on the road in the afternoon; I met him coming to Petoni in the foremoon, on the Petoni side of Warepouri's pah (sic, pa); he appeared to be in a deep study about something, or else in liquor; I did not speak to him
RICHARD RUSH sworn - I live at Mr Allen's; I recollect Mr Milne coming there on Tuesday, about 2 or 3 o'clock, but am not quite sure about the time. He called for three glasses of porter, which I served him with; he drank one glass himself and treated two other persons with the others; he stayed about half an hour; was quite sober
- Examined by the Jury - He did not appear dull or distressed; he had been hurrying round to overtake the Rev Mr McFarlane. He was not what is called 'fresh'; I do not know who the other parties were to whom deceased gave the porter
Reverend JOHN McFARLANE sworn - I was in Waters and Smith's Store on Monday; I saw deceased there; he said he was anxious to see Mrs Dunn, and agreed to accompany me to see her next day. I called at 11 o'clock, he was not ready, but said if I would wait half an hour he would be back, and accompany me to Wellington. I waited three quarters of an hour and he did not come back. I then left to return home. He was quite capable to take care of himself; he appeared to have had a glass of wine, but was by no means intoxicated, and could converse rationally
- By the Jury - I am not aware if he had his watch with him
- By the Coroner - He had on a blue jacket, whitish moleskin trowers and a cap. I am not aware if he had a dog with him
HENRY BAKER sworn - I came from Wellington with my wife on Tuesday evening; we arrived about 8 o'clock; we met a man, with a maori following behind him, about half a mile on the Wellington side of the native bark house on the road; the maori called me 'e baker'; he asked him where he was going; he told me Mr Allen 'korero (told) him to look out for the pakeha (white man); and take him home; I said Kapai (good, thanks), napenap; he then went on after the man; I should know the maori again; the white man passed me as quick as he could go; he was a dozen yards before the maori; he did not appear drunk, but was not sober; he staggered a little; I did not speak to him. When I arrived at the Koro Koro, I met another maori going after him; I asked him where he was going; he said, "to the hill"; i told him, napenap, te taipo (goblin, spook, ghost, unwanted supernatural visitors not of human origin that haunt the living) haere mai; he answered he did not care about the taipo; I did not observe a dog with the white man; he had his clothes on; I believe he had on a short jacket, but did not take much notice
- By the Jury - I did not notice whether the first maori had any stick or tomahawk as his hands were under his blanket; the white man was walking fast, not running; it was neither dark nor light; I did not know him; I have seen the body, and think it was the person I saw that night; I know him by his sandy hair and whiskers; I could recognize the native; he has been at my place many times; a dozen times I should say; I do not know where the native lives; I did not observe any body about the native house; the person I met was neither a tall man nor a little man; I could not see his features sufficiently that night to know him
MARION BAKER (wife of preceding witness) sworn - Corroborated the evidence of her husband and added - The person we met seemed quite in a fright. I said to my husband "poor fellow, how he is hurrying". He was perspiring very much. He had on a short round jacket, and was sandy complexioned. He appeared a little in liquor, but could walk along very well. The maori was following a few yards behind the white man. After he had spoken to us he ran on after him, as hard as he could. I think by the appearance he had something under his blanket; it appeared to be a short thing, not a spear. I did not see a dog with the white man. The second native that we met did not ask about any body; I think he knew us, but I did not know him. I never saw the white man before. I think I should know him again if he had on the same dress. He was a slight man.
- By the Jury - I knew the maori long ago; I have seen him six months ago; I do not know his name; or where he lives. I should know him again. He was a young man about 21, not tatooed.
The witness having seen the body said, ? am sure that deceased is the person we met.
H. B. RELPH sworn - I am a surgeon. I brought Mrs Dunn to see a body that had been found on the beach, to see if it was the body of her husband; it was not. I then examined it, and on examination was led to suppose that death had been caused by violence. I found a severe cut on the occipital bone, at the back of the head; it was about an inch in length; it was an incised wound, apparently inflicted with a sharp weapon, causing a depression on the outer table of the skull; over the lower part of the occipital bone on the left side. The wound was directed upwards and backwards, as given from below. On the face, there was an extensive laceration of the skin and muscle of the lower jaw; a great contusion of the lower lip which was a little lacerated internally, caused by contact with the teeth. The front teeth of the upper jaw were broken. There was a slight triangular wound under the left ear; a slight wound under the chin and various signs of contusions on the chest at the lower part of the thorax. The wound on the back of the head was about a quarter of an inch through the scalp; it might have been caused by the corner of a small tomahawk, but not by the whole face of it
- By the Coroner - It is not possible it could have been inflicted by falling on the rocks. The wounds on the face might have been so. I do not recollect seeing such a wound with a depression occasioned by a fall. The wounds on the chin meet and assume an irregular triangular shape. The lower wound is a simple incised wound, the upper one I consider to be a lacerated one. The blow on the back of the head might have knocked him down, and the upper wound might have been caused by falling on the rocks or some sharp surface. I do not believe the wound under the left ear was inflicted by an instrument; in any part such a wound might be occasioned by an instrument directed obliquely, but I do not think it was so caused in this instance. All the appearances on the body could not be occasioned by falling on the rocks. The wound on the back of the head appears to have produced concussion, but I cannot say positively without further examination.
- By the Jury - I could certainly give more definite and satisfactory information, whether the wound at the back of the head, would cause death, independent of the other wounds, by removing the occipital bone and outer table of the skull and afterwards the bone itself
The witness was directed to examine more minutely as to the extent and effects of the wound
JABEZ ALLEN re-examined - I did not tell any maori to take charge of Mr Milne on his way to Wellington, nor promised to pay them for so doing; I had no opportunity of doing so, as I was not aware of his departure until after he was gone; there were no natives at my house on Tuesday evening to my knowledge; no person in my house told any maori to take charge of him that I am aware of
WILLIAM COOK sworn - I live with my father at the Koro Koro; on Tuesday evening, about half past seven o'clock, I was standing inside my father's fence, close to the footpath. I saw a man come forward and sit down at the bridge. My father, I, and my two brothers went up to him; he rose up, and came forward and said if we would take him over the bridge he would give us a glass of grog; I said I would give him my hand across; he did not take it, but turned about and went down the stream to the narrowest part below the bridge and crossed over, and then walked along very fast; there was a maori standing at the flagstaff, about fifty yards from where we were at the fence; he came towards us at the fence and said the wind was coming down from the hills, and that he was going to Ngahuramga; he then turned away, crossed the bridge and walked on; he said nothing about the white man; he was a young man, about 21 or 22, not tatooed; he had on a white blanket; I did not see him have anything in his hand; I only saw one hand, the other was under the blanket; I have known him for twelve months and could recognize him; the white man appeared to be about three parts drunk, and walked very fast; he was sensible enough; he had a dog with him; it was a dark brindled dog; its ears and tail were cut.
- By the Jury - the white man sat upright on the ground; I do not know where the maori lives; he had no cap on
MARION BAKER re-examined - The second native had on trowers, a dark surtout coat, a cap, and a shirt
At this period of the proceedings the inquest adjourned to procure if possible the evidence of the native who was seen following deceased
25 December 1841 - ADJOURNED INQUEST
... The adjourned inquest on the body of Mr Archibald Milne was held at Petoni on Wednesday last, before J. P. Fitzgerald, Esq., M.D., assisted by E. Halswell, Esq., Protector of the Aborigines and George White, Esq., J.P. Several fresh witnesses were examined, but nothing further elicited to fix the act upon the guilty person. The native did not attend to give his evidence, but we believe he will be forthcoming on Monday, when the jury will sit again
29 December 1841 - ADJOURNED INQUEST
... An adjourned inquest on the body of Mr Archibald Milne was held on Monday last, at Petoni. The native against whom there was some suspicion, was examined through the medium of an interpreter. All the witnesses identified him as the person last seen with deceased; but the native himself denied having been at Koro Koro at the time specified; he said it was the day previous when he was there. The jury returned a verdict of "willful murder against some person or persons unknown"
1 January 1841 - ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE
... The adjourned inquest took place on Monday, at Petoni, as announced in Wednesday's paper, and the following additional evidence was brought forward
5 January 1842 - £50 REWARD (about $8000 in 2012)
... Whereas, the body of Archibald Milne, of this place, was found on the road between Wellington and Petoni, on the fifteenth of December last, and by the verdict of the Coroner's Jury, impaneled to enquire touching the cause of his death, it was found that he was murdered by some person or persons unknown. Notice is hereby given, that a reward of fifty pounds will be paid to any person (save and except any party actually concerned in the murder) who shall give such information as will lead to the conviction of the party or parties guilty of the said murder. MICHAEL MURPHY, Chief Police Magistrate
2 February 1842 - Court Hearing of OSBORNE
... A man named Osborne had a hearing on Monday, before M. MURPHY, Esq., on suspicion of being concerned in the murder of the late Mr Archibald Milne. Osborne had taken his passage in the "Gem" for Nelson; and his apprehension arose out of a coat and table-cloth, the property of the deceased, having been found on him, and he had been committed for trial on a charge of stealing them. The Magistrate considered the circumstantial evidence sufficient to justify his calling upon the prisoner to be bound over in his own recognizance of £80, to answer any charge that, at a future day, might be brought against him. Mr Evans appeared for the prisoner and designated the proceeding as ? case got up to screen the really guilty party"
20 April 1842 - ROBERT OSBORNE
... Robert Osborne was accused of stealing a coat and a table-cover the property of Archibald Milne, the same who was found murdered on the road to Petoni. The fact of the property being found in the prisoner's possession was established, but there was no direct evidence that he stole it. On the other hand, the prisoner failed in showing that Milne had given him the articles. Osborne called Mr Swainson, said he was civil and obedient as steward of the 'Jane', but was sometimes drunk and noisy with the crew. Robert Lyall, a butcher, spoke well of Osborne during his residence in this Colony. After a brief consultation Osborne was acquitted
28 July 1843 - INTESTATE
... In the County Court of Wellington, in the Southern District of New Ulster, New Zealand ARCHIBALD MILNE, Deceased Intestate. PURSUANT to the Rule of this Honorable Court, the Creditors of the above-named Deceased, are, on or before the Eighth Day of October next, to come in and prove the Debts before Robert Roger Strang. Esq., Clerk of the said Court, at his Office in the Court-House, Wellington; or in default, thereof, they will be peremptorily excluded from all benefit arising from the said Estate
9 December 1843 - AWAHO on trial
... it will be remembered that, in December, 1841, Mr Archibald Milne was murdered on the road between Wellington and the Hutt. The investigation at the time was miserably conducted and the result most unsatisfactory. It has been very generally felt, ever since, that Milne was murdered by a native; and this man Awaho is the individual who was identified at the time as having been seen following Milne the night he was killed. ... read more
7 May 1845 -
... In the early part of 1842, Archibald Milne, was murdered, near Petoni, by two natives. One of the natives recently shot himself. The other murderer is unknown
*WILLIAM SCOTT MILNE
7 Sep 1865 - CROWN GRANTS
... The last published 'Provincial Government Gazette' contains a schedule of the names of persons entitled to Crown Grants. The following comprise the list:-
The Bishop of Wellington
Mr Archibald Colquhoun
William Tonks senior
William Scott Milne
24 March 1882 - EPUNI LICENSING COMMITTEE
... In accordance with Clause 46 of "The Licensing Act, 1881" I give notice that a poll will be taken at the Highway Office, Lower Hutt, on Wednesday, the 12th day of April next, in order that the ratepayers may vote for or against an increase of licenses in the Epuni Licensing District.
WILLIAM SCOTT MILNE, Chairman of the Epuni Licensing Committee
11 Feb 1887 - LOWER HUTT LICENSING NOMINATIONS
... The following nominations were posted at noon to-day for the Lower Hutt Licensing Bench:-
Charles William Brown
William James Livingston
William Scott Milne
John Robert Ransom
25 Aug 1890 - CROWN LANDS OFFICE
... Notice is hereby given, in terms of section 117 of "The Land Act 1885' that William Scott Milne, the selector of Section 139, Block XIII, Survey District of Mangahao, has applied to transfer the same to Harry Webb. - J. W. A. MARCHANT, Commissioner of Crown Lands
17 April 1899 - LAND TRANSFER NOTICE
... WILLIAM SCOTT MILNE - 24 acres 2 roods 17.5 perches, part Section 39, Hutt District, Occupied by William Russell - Ball and H. C. Gibbons
7 January 1908 An old settler of Taita, Mr William Scott Milne, and Mrs Milne, celebrated their diamond wedding on December 31st of the year just past. Mr Milne is a highly respected farmer at Taita. He is aged 83 years and his wife 78. They have 37 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Mr Milne arrived in Wellington in 1841 in the Lady Nugent, and Mrs Milne (whose maiden name was Miss Grace Yule) in the Bengal Merchant in 1840. Their marriage was celebrated on December 31st 1857, at the house of the bride's parent, Mr Alexander Yule (now deceased), Lower Hutt. The Rev John English was the Minister. The house in which the ceremony took place still stands, though the inroads of the Hutt River meant it had to be moved
26 April 1914 - DEATH of William
... Mr William Scott Milne, one of the best known settlers in the Hutt Valley, died at his residence at the Taita this week. The deceased, who was in his 89th year, took a leading part in local affairs for many years and was a member of the Wellington Provincial Council when the late Mr Henry Bunny, father of the present Mayor of Lower Hutt, was prominently connected with that body. It was during the time Mr Milne was a member of the council that the Provincial Government built the bridge over the Hutt River at the Lower Hutt preceding the present structure there. The late Mr Milne was a fine stamp of the pioneer settler and he was held in great respect by all who knew him
12 August 1920 - PUBLIC AUCTION
... H. Ernest Leighton has received instructions to offer for absolute sale by Public Auction in the Chamber of Commerce, Customhouse-quay, Wellington, as above:- Estate of WILLIAM SCOTT MILNE (deceased), that choice small farm, being part Section 63, Hutt District, containing twenty-seven acres, more or less, situate between the farms of Mr George HOOPER and Mr George AUGUST and having frontage to the main road, Taita, Lower Hutt. The land is rich, and has a heavy carrying capacity, sold subject to lease expiring 1st December 1920
NOTE The farm was sold to George August for £1850 (about $148,300 in 2012)