Monday, August 27, 2018

B21 The Whitehouse Family New Zealand

Three of Robert Jillett's children married into the Whitehouse Family

The Whitehouse Family

The Whitehouse family first arrived in New Zealand, on the "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841.
On board were settlers, including John and Charlotte Whitehouse, and their four sons.

Part of Lambton Harbour, in Port Nicholson, New Zealand | Christchurch Art Gallery

Arrival of the “Lord William Bentinck.”

The periodical stream of arrivals into Port Nicholson brightened the lives of friends, relatives and bystanders on the beach. Anxious eyes were concentrated on the ships as they disgorged their living freight. Tender embraces, fond hand clasps, and eager and endless enquiries assailed the newcomers. The latest ship to arrive was the “Lord William Bentinck, 444 tons, commanded by Capt. Crow, which left Gravesend on the 8th January, 1841, and arrived 24th May, with 39 married couples, 24 single men, 15 single women, 51 children under fourteen, and 52 under seven. Five births and nine deaths occurred on board.

The register was signed by Mr. Daniel Riddiford, Emigration Agent. Five of the crew deserted the ship on its arrival at Port Nicholson.

The names of the passengers were as follows:—
Whitehouse, John    39
Whitehouse, Charlotte     34

Emigration to New Zealand was the result of the efforts of the New Zealand Company to settle the lands of New Zealand.

The New Zealand Company was a 19th-century English company that played a key role in the colonisation of New Zealand.

The company was formed to carry out the principles of systematic colonisation devised by Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who envisaged the creation of a new-model English society in the southern hemisphere. Under Wakefield’s model, the colony would attract capitalists who would then have a ready supply of labour—migrant labourers who could not initially afford to be property owners, but who would have the expectation of one day buying land with their savings
The New Zealand Company established settlements at Wellington, Nelson, Wanganui and Dunedin and also became involved in the settling of New Plymouth and Christchurch. It reached the peak of efficiency about 1841, encountered financial problems from 1843 from which it never recovered, and wound up in 1858.

The Tory was the first of three New Zealand Company surveyor ships sent off in haste to prepare for settlers in New Zealand. In August the Cuba, with a surveyors' team headed by Captain William Mein Smith, R.A., set sail, and a month later—still with no word on the success of the Tory and Cuba—on 15 September 1839 it was followed from Gravesend, London, by the Oriental, the first of five 500-ton immigrant ships hired by the company. Following the Oriental were the Aurora, Adelaide, Duke of Roxburgh and Bengal Merchant, plus a freight vessel, the Glenbervie, which all sailed with instructions to rendezvous on 10 January 1840 at Port Hardy on d'Urville Island where they would be told of their final destination. It was expected that by that time William Wakefield would have bought land for the first settlement and had it surveyed, and also inspected the company's land claims at Kaipara and Hokianga

Further purchases followed in Taranaki (60,000 acres in February 1840) and Wanganui (May 1840, the conclusion of negotiations begun the previous November); the company explained to the 1842 Land Claims Commission that while the earlier deeds covering the same land had been with the "overlords", these new contracts were with residents of the lands, to overcome any resistance they might have to yielding physical possession of the land.

In July the company reported it had sent 1108 labouring emigrants and 242 cabin passengers to New Zealand and despatched a total of 13 ships. Another immigrant vessel, the London, sailed for New Zealand on 13 August, and before the year it was followed by Blenheim, Slains Castle, Lady Nugent, and Olympus

At the time according to the newspapers, there were many runaway convicts, in the Bay of Islands area, with others on the island.

The New Zealand Company purchased vast tracks of land.

A succession of tribes lived around the twin inlets of Porirua Harbour. In 1846, tension between Ngāti Toa and European settlers culminated in several skirmishes. The fighting was inconclusive, but Ngāti Toa’s foremost chiefs were removed – Te Rauparaha was arrested, and Te Rangihaeata retreated to the Manawatū.

In 1874, there were hearings held, to establish the rightful owner of the lands.

Otaki Maori Land Court Minutebook - 20 April 1874

The allocation and sale of land by the companies in the 1840's was the subject of hearings in 1874.
The following excerpt of the transcript, identifies Robert Jillett's land.

"After the Haowhenua fight, Rauparaha and Rangihaeata went over to Mana. There were many who accompanied them. Rauparaha and these people had lived at Mana for some time and their hapu’s were living at Kapiti. Rauparaha and party came then to Tahoramourea – an island first off Kapiti. At this time, Europeans were living on Kapiti. I do not know how long the pakeha’s were living there. It was nearly up to the time of the Kuititanga. They were whalers.

It was then that Te Rauparaha thought of selling the block now under investigation for tobacco.
Te Teke, Tungia, Te Rangihiroa and Te Hiko heard of this. They came and objected and prevented it. Te Rauparaha was at this time at Tahoramourea. Te Rangihaeata heard of this and insisted upon selling it for tobacco.

In consequence of Rangihaeata wishing to sell the land, Te Teke consented. The block of land which they agreed to sell for a cask of tobacco was limited to the place where the houses of Rangihaeata stood. After this the Kuititanga took place. After these hapu’s occupying for some time they thought of letting Maraetakaroro. The person who let it was Te Ohu to Brown. At the same time the block of land granted to James Cootes was let to the same European, Brown.
It was Pairoroku and Te Ringa who let this last named Block.

Ropata Hurumutu heard of this and interfered. The reason why he objected was that he considered James Cootes was the proper person to let it. The lease was null.

Wi Parata placed sheep upon his block at the same time. The sheep that were placed upon Wi Parata’s block belonged to Bob Gillett. It was Wi Parata and Ngahuka and some of Ngati Toa Te Maunu’s hapu who leased the land to Bob Gillett. I don’t know the number of years the sheep had been on the land when Tamihana went over to survey. Ropata Hurumutu, Ngahuka and others heard of this and broke the chain of the surveyor. I was at Waikato at the time.

How many Europeans were leasing land at Kapiti? Two. D, Brown and Bob Gillett.
Robert Jnr s life in New Zealand has been well documented by his great-great grandson, John Jillett, but his life in Tasmania between his father dying and his leaving for New Zealand raises some questions.New Zealand in 1841 – Whitehouse and his neighbours.

Along with the Whitehouse family on the Lord William Bentinck, there was another family, Anthony and Susannah Wall. Their descendants have followed their early

"The Wall family sailed out to New Zealand on the Lord William Bentinck, departing from London on 7 January 1841 and arriving at Wellington on 19 May 1841. Anthony was 40 and Susannah 35 but they listed their ages as 34 and 30 to meet the New Zealand Company’s age restrictions. On the emigration registrar, Anthony listed his occupation as an agricultural labourer.
The family were allocated Berth No. 43. Berth No 45 was occupied by friends, John and Charlotte Martha Whitehouse and their four children. The Whitehouse family lived next to the Walls at the Halfway.

Barbara Kay described their search for suitable farming land:

“Just a few months before the family’s arrival, the Company had begun work on the opening up of the 'Porirua road', as they were to call it. Within a month of the family’s arrival, in June 1841, the Company had the first of their one hundred acre sections along the road surveyed and ready for “selection” (1996, p2).

“Anthony, along with his friend John Whitehouse, with whom he had travelled out below decks on the Lord William Bentick, was not in the market for any one hundred acre sections. It made sense for both of these men with their limited means to look for smaller lots of reasonably priced land on the outskirts of the Wellington settlement. It also made sense because the land was on the route north, where prospects for the future were good. By 1841, the New Plymouth and Wanganui settlements had also been established and it became obvious that the Porirua track would become the principal route to the north, and Wellington the principal town" (1996, p34).

Anthony and John Whitehouse were both able to buy land from early settler Frank Johnson, who had sub-divided his Section 24 100 acre block into several 8 acre blocks.
“Their eight acre bush-clad strips of land alongside 'the track' to Porirua were next door to each other. These sales were not registered until 23 March 1843, but agreement to the sale would have been in place before the family moved in” (1996, p34).

The family had to wait in Wellington until their house was built, and guided by comments in a Susannah wrote to her sisters in England, Barbara Kay felt it was likely that they moved out to the Halfway in the spring of 1841, once winter was over.

“Susannah said clearly in her letter of 18 December 1842: ‘I am shure my dear mother and all of you will be glad to here that we are settled on our own little farm...’ ”
“The farm was small but they owned it. As Susannah said. They were ‘about half way betwixt Wellington and Parrarua distance of twelve miles’ and so their first home became the ‘Halfway House’" (1996, p34). Liquor licence

Barbara Kay researched the early liquor license holders –

“The first bush licence at the Halfway was issue to John Lodge, who owned the third eight-acre strip of land there, alongside Anthony [Wall] and John Whitehouse. Bush licences were issued for the sale of liquor without any rules for accommodation. Lodge held the licence for some years, until he sold his eight acres to Captain William Barnard Rhodes in 1845. It was then Anthony took over Lodge’s licence ‘for one year’ on payment of five pounds. There is no further record of Anthony renewing that licence or of a change of ownership. A 'Special Publican’s License' was issued to John McKain, followed by a 'bush licence' a year later”(1996, p39).

Alfred Henry Whitehouse, by Clive Sowry

Another family of Whitehouse, arrived in New Zealand, around 1864.
His father Abel Whitehouse born 1819 died in New Zealand in 1888. He was the son of Thomas Whitehouse and his wife Catherine. He was baptised at the Baptist Church in Cannon Street Birmingham.


Alfred Henry Whitehouse was born on 15 September 1856 at Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, the son of Abel Whitehouse, a warehouseman, and his wife, Matilda Craddock. He is believed to have come to New Zealand with his parents about 1864. Very little is known of his early life. When he married Eliza Davis at Auckland on 22 October 1878 his occupation was recorded as bootmaker. Eliza died at Te Aroha on 17 June 1888, leaving Alfred with five children.

About 1894, possibly after a visit to the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Alfred Whitehouse began touring New Zealand exhibiting the Edison phonograph. Late in 1895, having just returned from a four-month trip around the world, he became the first person to exhibit motion pictures in New Zealand by means of Edison's kinetoscope, an apparatus that allowed a loop of film to be viewed by one person at a time. He opened his kinetoscope exhibition on 29 November 1895 at Bartlett's Studio in Queen Street, Auckland, where he had four machines on show. For the admission price of 1s. (children 6d.) patrons could view four scenes: 'The barber's shop', 'The fire rescue scene', 'The Chinese laundry' and 'Annabelle's graceful butterfly dance'. These were replaced by a second series of scenes three weeks later. During the season Whitehouse introduced the kinetophone, a combination of the kinetoscope and the phonograph, which enabled the viewer to see, for example, Annabelle dance the butterfly dance to music by the Paragon Trio.

In February 1896 Whitehouse closed his Auckland season and took the kinetoscope exhibition on tour through the North Island, ending at Wellington in January 1897, when he sold his kinetoscopes. By this time the limitations of the medium would have been all too apparent to Whitehouse. On 13 October 1896 the Auckland Opera House had been the venue of the first presentation in New Zealand of the kinematograph, whereby motion pictures were projected on a screen, enabling a large number of people to view a single exhibition of a film. Whitehouse's kinetoscope exhibitions had, however, proved sufficiently lucrative to enable him to travel overseas again, this time to Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee celebrations in London in June 1897. He returned to New Zealand later that year, and on 14 September, at Auckland, he married 22-year-old Ada Baker.

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