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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, February 22 (1840)


The New Zealand Journal.
London: Saturday, February 22, 1840.

We have again to regret the absence of intelligence either direct or indirect, from New Zealand, or, indeed, from any one of the Australasian Colonies.
The westerly gales of the early part of the month had swept the seas of the homeward bound—intelligence was in our possession from Van Diemen's Land, not much more than three months old, and through Van Diemen's Land from the other Colonies to a late date; hence, without a continuance of similar gales, much later arrivals were not to be expected. The Sydney ships of October are now, however, due, and but for the prevalence of contrary winds, we should, doubtless, have had Australasian news to offer, and with it the anxiously expected intelligence of the proceedings of the Company's first expedition. This is all that is wanted to give life and activity to the now dormant energies of the thousands who, directly or indirectly, will take part in the proceedings of the approaching spring. In the absence of such news, then, we must live on hope.

The French New Zealand

We translate the following from the Journal du Havre:—
"The expedition which the transport Le Comte de Paris. carries out to New Zealand is the first operation of a Company which, having become the proprietor of a large tract of land in that country, has formed the plan of expediting and founding an establishment there. Its aim is to take possession of Banks's Peninsula, of which it has acquired the proprietary right, and to plant there the first foundation of a Colony.
"This peninsula is situated on the eastern coast of Avai Poenamoo (the Southern Island) in lat. 44 deg. S., and long. 171 deg. E. Its extent is about ten myriamétres (about 65 miles) and it is almost entirely separated from the main land to which it is joined only by a narrow isthmus of about two myriamétres (13 miles) in length. The peninsula is consequently in an excellent position considered in relation to defence as well as to climate.
"A mere attempt at colonization is not the only object of this expedition. It is said that it has received from Government authority to examine whether the nature of the locality is adapted to the carrying into effect a project concerning the transportation (déportation) of convicts and persons condemned to a certain period of reclusion, in which case the company would cede to the Government such portion of its territory as might be required for the purpose."—Journal du Havre.
As a mere colonizing association, the objects of the French New Zealand Company have in them nothing that need meet with opposition at our hands in the nineteenth century; but beyond this the French Company cannot be permitted to proceed.
Cook took format possession of the New Zealand group in the name of Great Britain, and made accurate surveys of every part of the coast. Even the spot chosen for the operations of the French Company is named after Sir Joseph Banks, who accompanied Captain Cook. Great Britain, therefore, in whatever relation she may stand towards the native chiefs, has a prior right against every European nation. The right of sovereignty has been long exercised. Magistrates were appointed "in and for the islands of New Zealand," nearly a quarter of a century ago; so that the expedition which was despatched last summer by the New Zealand Company did not go to take possession, but simply to occupy in virtue of an ancient and well recognised right.
But even if the right depended on recent acts, the French Company is too late by several months. The expedition under Col. Wakefield was quite sufficient to enable us to assert a right prior to that of the French, and the first colony, by this time we trust planted in New Zealand, is of force sufficient to maintain it.
A few years ago, and the landing of the settlers would have been opposed, but in the nineteenth century, men have grown wiser and more liberal. A more enlarged policy would point out the expediency of a law to facilitate the naturalisation of foreign settlers. New Zealand is adapted to the culture of the grape, the olive, and the mulberry, of the management of which we are ignorant; hence, we shall actually want French, German, and Italian cultivators, and every possible facility should be given to them—every inducement held out to them to become subjects of her Majesty.
The last clause of the extract now demands notice. It will be observed that nothing has to be done as yet, but the expedition is merely to "examine," and if that examination prove favourable to the project, part of the territory is to be occupied by the French Government, as a penal settlement. All this reads very like what in this country is called a feeler, and we think we can understand something of the nature of the projet here alluded to.
To certain offences, the punishment of déportation is still affixed. Formerly, persons condemned thereto, were sent to French Guiana; but now there is no place to which they can be transported. At this moment the prisons of France are crowded with political offenders who may be dangerous to France, and whom it would be convenient to get out of the way. Under these circumstances, the projet in question has probably been generated in the mind of some French official—and to see how it is likely to be taken in this country, the present feeler is put forth.
If the French Government should send her political prisoners to British New Zealand, let it be clearly understood, that they are free the instant they set foot on British land. France can exercise no jurisdiction over them there, and supposing the projet should ever ripen into action, which is very improbable—should the sons of France accept the hand of friendship, which we are quite sure will be held out to them the New Zealand community will be the better of their peculiar intelligence and skill. We shall shortly return to the subject.

The Plymouth Company of New Zealand.

In the first number of this paper we were enabled to announce the formation of a company entitled the Plymouth Company of New Zealand, respecting which complete information will be found in the advertising columns of this our second number.
Cornwall and Devon are associated in our minds as the very birth-place of the spirit of colonization. The Plymouth pilgrims were among the foremost of the pioneers of American colonization, and the name now chosen—the Plymouth Company after the "Plymouth Company of Virginia"—is ominous of good in the future history of New Zealand.
What New Zealand colonist is there who will be destitute of pleasurable emotion at the prospect of vigorous co-operation neve held out to him? Two centuries have not weakened the spirit which animated the Courtenays and the Petres—the Raleighs, the Gilberts and the Pophams—the Hawkinses and the Drakes of that day;* and it is no in auspiciousomen of the future greatness of New Zealand, that some of the names we have mentioned—names indissolubly united with the history of colonization, are now to be found aiding in what Bacon called the "heroic work" of subduing another wilderness. A Courtenay, it will be seen, heads this modern Plymouth Company, and among the Directors are to be found names known and respected in the counties destined to be the field of the Company's home operations; and many of whom are distinguished in a still larger sphere—the great theatre of public life.
Let us now look at their plan. In every respect the Plymouth Company will co-operate with the New Zealand Company of London, for it is established in strict connexion therewith. It acknowledges the same principles of colonization, it pursues the same objects; and the men who have associated their names with the undertaking, afford a guarantee that the principles will be maintained, and the objects pursued with effect.
The general object of the Company is to establish a settlement, to consist principally of Emigrants from the two counties. The settlement will be a New Plymouth—a new home to settlers from Cornwall and Devon. The plan embraces three distinct features; first, the disposal of the quarter acre town lots, separately from the country sections; secondly, the sale of country sections of 50 acres; and thirdly, the losing of one or more sections to persons who are disposed to become tenants to the Company.
From the highly advantageous arrangements made by the Plymouth with the London Company, coupled with a regulation of the former as to the application of their own land fund, the prin-ciples in question will be rigidly and inviolably maintained. This will fully appear from the following clause of the prospectus to which we direct attention.
"One of the propositions agreed to by the London Company is, that 75 per cent. of the purchase money to be paid for land by the Plymouth Company shall be expended by the latter company in defraying the ex-pence of sending young married persons of the labouring class, direct from the port of Plymouth, as emigrants to the New Plymouth settlement."
Indeed, in order to render the whole of the 75 per cent available, for the purpose of the emigration of young married couples, the Plymouth Company will give cabin passages, under the conditions prescribed, out of these profits, and not out of the emigration fund.
The Plymouth Company also enjoys a great and obvious advantage, in being able to conduct its affairs with a moderate establishment, and, therefore, at a comparatively small expence.
"It is capable of being arranged, "says the prospectus," at little expense for agency, and upon a system of fixed routine; and therefore is without any other risk than such as can be guarded against by proper management."
With regard to its policy towards the aborigines, the Plymouth Company adopts the benevolent course already pursued by the London Company.
"The New Plymouth Settlement will comprise the lands purchased of the New Zealand Company; and a quantity equal to one-tenth of the whole, to be added by them for gratuitous distribution among the native families surrounding the settlement; thus presenting the aborigines with an inducement to embrace a civilised life, and in lieu of the waste they originally sold, investing them with a property rendered really valuable by its admixture with that of industrious settlers."
Here then a field is opened, in which, apart from the strife of political warfare, all parties may unite for a common object, and practically demonstrate how close is the alliance between the agricultural and commercial interests of the country. Nothing, we are convinced, can prevent that success which the Plymouth Company merits, and which we most cordially wish them.

Sir W. Molesworth's Speech.—New Zealand.

On the 5th instant the liberal electors of Leeds gave a dinner, at which Sir William Molesworth, who was then on a visit to his constituents, was present. He delivered a very full and comprehensive speech on the occasion, embracing all the topies likely to engage the attention of the legislature during the present session, and the liberal papers say it was received with much enthusiasm.
With the political portion of the speech we have no concern, but as Sir William has of late years given much of his attention to colonial matters, and has moreover distinguished himself by his stenuous exertions to obtain an abandonment of the odious system of transportation, and the substitution of a sound and rational system of colonization, all he says on colonial subjects demands onr especial attention.
Of our intercourse with the United States, Sir William took an enlarged and statesman-like view, regarding them for many purposes still as Colonies of England. The self-supporting principle is that which Sir William Molesworth desires to see applied to all our Colonies,—it is that principle which at once obviates the objection so often, and so justly urged against Colonies,—which, in tact, alone makes a Colony cease to be a burthen upon the parent State.
After touching upon the state of Canada, Sir William Moles-worth thus alluded to the Australian Colonies as connected with his own labours as originator and chairman of the Transportation Committee:—
"The only other Colonies of which I wish to say a few words are those of Australia—namely, New South Wales and Van Diemen's Land. Having been chairman of a committee appointed to inquire into their condition, and the effects of the punishment of transportation on their moral state, I have been deeply impressed with the great defects of that punishment, and the enormous, the frightful moral evils which it has produced. I dare not now enter into the horrid and disgusting details connected with this subject. It is sufficient to say that it has been proved by indisputable authority that transportation has made those colonies, perhaps, the most depraved communities of civilised men in the universe. This is a lamentable fact when the immense resources of those colonies are known—when their rapid progress in wealth, and their capability of becoming almost the best markets for our industry, is considered. I have no doubt, however, if proper steps were taken, the present unhappy state of those colonies might be amended—that they might, in a short time, be completely purified. The measures which I think are necessary for this purpose—are the immediate abolition of transportation, and so large an emigration of persons from this country as would entirely swamp the convict population. This can easily be done without expence to this country."
He next spoke of the expedition to New Zealand, and the interest which he felt therein, owing to the circumstance of his brother forming one of the first colony.
"Only last year an expedition sailed from this country to found what will be a thriving empire, in a fair and fertile island, almost at the opposite side of the globe, I mean New Zealand. My brother has the honour of being one of the intrepid men who formed that expedition, and who have departed on the arduous task of waging war with the wilderness and rendering it productive—productive of objects of exchange with us. He did it at my advice, (much cheering.) He was a young man, in want of some occupation, unwilling to live in idleness. I told him all employments, all occupations, are here overstocked; in every branch of industry, in every description of trade, in all the professions competition is excessive. 'Go there,' I said, 'imitate the example of your ancestors, and make for yourself a career in a new world of your own creation; and be assured that, in seeking in this manner to advance your own interests, you will confer a great and lasting benefit upon your native country.' (immense applause.) And this advice which I gave to him I give to all persons who are suffering from a want of employment, and who find this island too thickly peopled for them. As long as vast and fertile countries are either uninhabited or uncultivated, it is our own fault if we suffer from an excess of population."
Sir William then alluded to the new system of selling waste lands instead of jobbing them, and applying the proceeds to the purposes of emigration, as affording a triumphant answer to those who object to emigration on account of its supposed expence to the mother country. He contended that emigration was beneficial, not merely to the emigrating party and to the colony, but to the mother country as well, inasmuch as
"Every new emigrant becomes a customer of this country for the productions of our industry, and purchases them by the fruits of his labour in his new country. Thus New South Wales sends us wool; New Zealand will send us flax and timber; Canada furnishes us likewise with timber. The West Indies produce for us sugar and coffee, and the other produce of intertropical climates. The United States send us their cotton, and would willingly send us their corn were it not for our unwise laws. All of them receive in return the woollens of Yorkshire, the cottons of Lancashire, the cutlery of Sheffield and Birmingham. Thus every emigrant from this country not only finds employ -ment himself, but furnishes employment for numbers at home, and enables a greater number of persons to live in comfort upon the British soil."(Cheers, several times repeated)


The records of the early expeditions to America present a great number of names familiar in Devon and Cornwall, and many of great celebrity. In 1530 and 1532, Mr. Hawkins of Plymouth, father of Sir John Hawkins, fitted out expeditions to Brazil: in 1575, Master John Oxnam, of Plymouth, made a voyage to the West Indies: in 1585, Drake's fleet sailed from Plymouth; and amongst his officers, we find Capt. George Fortescue: in 1595, Drake and Sir John Hawkins, sailed again from Plymouth for Guiana, accompanied by Capts. Whiddon and Preston: and in 1596, Master William Parker, a merchant of Plymouth, sent out a ship to the West Indies, under the command of Capt. Richard Henn. In April, 1606, the first charter of Virginia was granted to the Plymouth Company, whose council were—Thomas Hanham, Ralegh Gilbert, William Parker, and George Popham, all of Plymouth; and, in the subsequent charter of 1609, (amalgamating the London and Plymouth Companies) we find the names of an immense number of the nobility and gentry then connected with the two counties: amongst others —John Lord Petre, John Lord Stanhope, George Lord Carew, Sir Amyas Preston, Sir Henry Carey, Sir William Godolphin, Sir Warwick Hele, Sir Robert Carey, Sir Stephen Pole, Sir John Burlace, Capt William Courtney, &c. &c.—The Plymouth Company of New Zealand Statement of its Constitution and Plans, &c. Devonport. H. Gran-ville. 1840. page 3.

See the pamphlet we have already quoted, page 17.

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