Friday, 6 September 2013

On this day in 1884

Archdeacon Alfred Nesbit Brown, c.1875-1880
Carte de visite/albumen print (91 x 56mm on mount 101 x 62mm) by R.H. Bartlett of Auckland
Image courtesy of National Library of New Zealand
6 Sep 1884 - Death of Archdeacon Brown

The Late Ven. Archdeacon Brown.
The deceased gentleman was one who for very many years has been intimately connected with Tauranga, hence the following items will be read with interest, bearing as they do upon the early days of this district.
It was not until 1834 that any families of missionaries ventured south of the Bay of Islands, but prior to that date the deceased, the late Bishop Williams, the late Rev. Mr. Hamlin, the Rev. J.A. Wilson (now residing in England), Mr Fairburn, and Rev. H. Williams - all these gentlemen from time to time made excusrions throughout the Waikato, Thames and Bay of Plenty districts.  These excursions commenced in 1826, and continued from that time until 1834, when three missionaries - Messrs Wilson, Fairburn, and Preece - brought their families to the Puriri, and within six months after the Rev. Mr Brown (now deceased) founded his station at Matamata, now know as Mr Firth's run.  In 1837 Mr Brown's station was sacked and burned by the Rotorua natives during an attack they made upon Te Waharoa, the father of William Thomson.  Mr Brown retired to the Puriri, and from thence came to Tauranga in 1837, where he founded the Tauranga station in the beginning of 1836.
Since that time (1837) the deceased gentleman has never been removed from Tauranga.  At the time his station at Matamata was sacked and they made their escape, one of the servant girls (a Christian convert) was killed.  The rest of the party escaped.  The deceased was the senior missionary in this district, comprising Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, and the Opotiki districts as far as Cape Runaway, and every year he travelled throughout the whole of his district, and invariably on foot.  The ven. gentleman was always a strong, active man, remarkable for his businesslike ways and punctual attendance to his duties, and never was known to have a day's illness.  In 1844 he was made an Archdeacon.
The above facts show that the late Archdeacon Brown was for nearly half a century connected with Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.  After so many years' active life he succumbed to feebleness on Sunday the 6th Sept., aged 81.

Bartlett, Robert Henry, 1842-1911. Bartlett, Robert Henry, fl 1875-1880 : Archdeacon Alfred Nesbit Brown (1803-1884). Ref: PA2-0201. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.
The Bay of Plenty Times, 9 September 1884, courtesy of Papers Past.

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