See Index of WDB pages

Jack Lee published 1983 I Have Named It The Bay of Islands

Brind of the Bay of Islands

by Jocelyn Chisholm

Wellington, J Chisholm, 1979

Copyright J Chisholm, Mahina Bay, Wellington, New Zealand. 1979

Edition limited to 400 copies

ISBN 0-463-00026-1

Set in 10pt and 8pt Janson and printed by Wright and Carman Ltd, Trentham, New Zealand.

Jocelyn Chisholm has asked that her book be removed from this package. She says she is currently working on a revised version of the book. Anyone interested in obtaining the new book can email for information about its publication. The original limited edition publication is still sometimes available on one of the online auction sites, but it is never cheap.

William Darby Brind was born in England, the eldest child of William Brind and his wife, Elizabeth. He was baptised on July 28, 1794 in St Philip's Birmingham. He seems to have gone to sea, possibly on whaling ships, at an early age.

Between 1820 and 1830 William Darby Brind captained The Cumberland,The Asp, The Emily and The Toward Castle. An infamous incident of the time, involving considerable blood letting, the Girls War, started on his ship, the Toward Castle, in 1830. Brind had a number of sexual relationships with native girls, in addition to his marriage to a very young English woman, probably providing the reason why,Dr J. D. Lang, a Presbyterian minister who met Brind in February 1839 described him as a "civilised brute".

In fact these relationships were at least partly political, with Brind allying himself with Rewa (Manu), a chief of Ngai Tawake of Nga Puhi. From 1828 he lived with Rewa's daughter, Moewaka. She seems to disappear some time in the late 1830s, perhaps after he married his English wife.

He captained what seems to have been his last ship, the Narwhal, from 1836 until 1840. The Narwhal was owned by Green & Co (sometimes called Green & Wigram) of Blackwall Yard. See crew list for 1839-40 Narwhal voyage. and see crew list for 1835-38 Narwhal voyage.

The Narwhal left London about December 14, 1835. On January 3, 1836 it was at a place called something like Mellice Bank. The ship reached New Zealand on May 27, 1836 returning to London in December 1838. On July 10, 1836 the ship was in mid Pacific, at Samoa the Navigators' Islands and stayed there until at least August 14, 1836. On November 10, 1836, it was at another difficult to read place that could have been Pilstarts.

The ship was in New Zealand on June 8, 1836, December 26, 1836, June 12, 1837, Sept 17, 1837, July 13, 1838, July 18, 1938, July 23, 1838, January 24, 1838 and probably at other times as well.

This may have been a difficult voyage on the Narwhal since two of the crew, Henry Cook and William Bryan died at sea, the latter was drowned. A dozen members of the crew are listed as "running" instead of being discharged. The meaning of being on the run at the time was to be outside the law. James Cowan in The New Zealand Wars: A History of the Maori Campaigns and the Pioneering Period, describes whaling ship captains as tyrants.

The ship got back to London on December 3, 1838, having spent three years away.

The Narwhal left London, presumably East India Docks, on May 6, 1839, arrived at a place called St Jago, presumably in the Caribbean, around June 19, 1839. It reached New Zealand about Oct 6, 1839. It probably left to catch whales on October 21, 1839. It was in New Zealand on January 26, 1840, May 20, 1840, and December 11,1840, but presumably spent much of the intervening time catching whales. In May 1841 the ship was in mid Pacific, at Samoa the Navigators' Islands and stayed there until at least July 4, 1841. The ship got back to London on September 17, 1841, a total of 28 months later. Since the Panama Canal was not opened until 1914, the Narwhal must have used the infamous Drake's Passage, rounding Cape Horn. Sailors used to say: "Below 40 degrees, there is no law. Below 50 degrees, there is no God."

In 1840 he faced a charge of brutality levelled by his own ship's surgeon, presumably relating to something that happened on The Narwhal on April 9. Perhaps this was related to Michael McKinness? who left the ship on May 20, 1840. By 1840 Kororareka was the biggest European settlement in New Zealand. However, in the 1840s Kororareka's fortunes declined despite the steady increase in the price of whale oil and bone in the 1840s.

James Cowan maintains the port was effectively taxed out of existence the number of visitors quickly lessened when the Governor in Council imposed a Customs tariff on the stable articles of trade, thus making the port highly expensive for the whalemen.

The New Zealand Gazette and Wellington Spectator of September, 1844, said: "The receipts at the Bay of Islands from furnishing supplies to whalers averaged for several years about £45,000 annually, and now this trade is nearly extinct."

Brind's young English wife (born about 1816) was Eliza Anne, a daughter of Abraham and Sarah Snoswell, who seem to have run an Inn called the Three Crowns, or Ferry House, in West Street, Gravesend. This inn had a landing stage for ferries and was already old when Brind first visited it, since it dated from 1682. The Gravesend Theatre took over the site after it was rebuilt in 1887.

Jocelyn Chisholm's book says that long after Brind had died Eliza told the family that in her youth she had often seen her former husband when he stayed at the inn. She said that he had sat her on his lap and promised that when she grew up he would marry her. She died in 1885 aged 69, according to her death certificate, suggesting she was born in 1816.

Gravesend was a common place of embarkation for New Zealand and the port chosen for the first regular mail ships to sail there in the 1840s.

John Roberton, a former whaling captain bought an island in the Bay of Islands in 1839. He was drowned a year later, but his wife (Elizabeth nee Blackie) continued to farm the island. She and her children, and an employee; were murdered by a Maori called Maketu, in November 1841. The murderer was hanged in March 1842 at Auckland.

Eliza Isabella Brind baptised by Octavius Hadfield in October 1839, was the daughter of William Darby Brind and Moewaka, though by this date the mother may have died. The child was placed in the care of Elizabeth Roberton at Motuarohia, and was murdered with the other members of the household.

"It should be remembered that most of the treaties signed with great Negro chiefs have been ratified by a white man's marriage with one of their daughters,"Dr Barot: Guide Pratique de l'Européen dans l'Afrique Occidentale, quoted in John Hargreaves: France and West Africa, An Anthology of Historical Documents, pp 206-9. Dr Barot was the French colonial Office's Director of African Affairs in 1902.

Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2005 08:12:51 -0800 (PST)
From: "Chris and Margaret Brind"
View Contact Details
Subject: Photos of New Zealand: Brind Road and Brind's Bay
Dear All, In response to Jonathan's request for (Brind) family history photos, and Dick's plea for a selection of Margaret's and my NZ snapshots, here are three which I hope may fill the bill.
They are in descending order:

1. "Brind Road" sign in Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand.

2. View of Matauwhi Bay (formerly known as Brind's Bay, after Captain William Darby Brind (whaling captain and ancestor of our family).

3. Brind Road leading down to Brind's Bay.

Main index Brind press cuttings Augustus Earle Moby Dick Dictionary of New Zealand Biography

From: Don Montague < >
Subject: [NZ] Re: RALPH and ROBERTON.
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 2003 10:08:32 +0100

Good morning, Kevin
At 07:38 AM 02/11/03, you wrote:

Whether it's of any use or not remains to be seen, - but the spelling 'ROBERTON' seems uncommon enough to warrant a further look. The Early History of Northern New Zealand is my amateur 'specialist subject' - so to speak.

The only ROBERTON I can re-call readily is one, John, a former whaling captain who bought an island in the Bay of Islands in 1839. He was drowned a year later, his wife continued to farm the island, but she and her children, and an employee; were murdered by a Maori, 31 Nov.1841. He was hanged, Mar.1842 at Auckland.

Are you familiar with this story ? It broadly fits the time-line, - and of course, probably raises more questions than answers ! Yerrrss, hmmm, it fits with one of my Roberton names too: John ROBERTON, born 1/4/1794 (241 years precisely before I was born!), who married Elizabeth BLACKIE on 21/12/1827 at Kelso, Scotland. I've just tried Google using various related search strategies, and all I could come up with at

first was: Named Motuarohia (Beloved Island) by the Maori, Roberton Island was sold to Captain John Roberton in 1839. I then tried searching on Roberton + 1841 + Maori, and came up with the following from the DNZB site:

William Darby Brind was born in England, the eldest child of William Brind and his wife, Elizabeth. He was baptised on 28 July 1794 in St Philip's parish, Birmingham. He went to sea on whaling ships at an early age. . . . . . Brind allied himself with Rewa (Manu), a chief of Ngai Tawake of Nga Puhi. From 1828 he lived with Rewa's daughter, Moewaka.

Their daughter was baptised Eliza Isabella Brind by Octavius Hadfield in October 1839. By this date Moewaka may have died. The child was placed in the care of Elizabeth Roberton at Motuarohia, and in 1841 was murdered with the other members of the household by Maketu. So indeed Captain John was married to an Elizabeth.. The original reference for the DNZB piece is "Brind of the Bay of Islands" by Jocelyn Chisholm, published at Wellington, 1979, but as she was writing about Brind it seems unlikely that there is much more about poor Elizabeth Roberton. We may be getting somewhere. Any more ideas about how I could follow up the record of the murder, which might give something more about Elizabeth's family?

Many thanks for guiding me in this direction, which looks quite promising for at least one of Mary Gordon Roberton's ten missing offspring!

Don Montague

William Darby Brind = Eliza Anne Snoswell

This could be a link to the inn run by the Snoswell family in Gravesend, Kent, in 1841.
See cutting revealing William and Eliza were in London in 1854

William Roberton Alfred Henry Edward Charles Sarah Fanny Amelia Kate
b1841 b 1843 b 1845 b 1848 b 1850
d 1844 d 1922 d 1866
See certificate
d 1936 d 1946
  m. Mary Harriett Sophia Weeden   m. A E Crofts, London
Douglas G Crofts
m. William Sedman Chisholm
Alfred Henry Brind = Mary Harriett Sophia (Weeden)
Mae Eliza Phoebe Kate Constance Evelyn Eardley Reginald
William Sedman Chisholm = Amelia Kate (Brind)
William Duncan Alfred Elsie Edith Dudley Sedman
See report of son born Nov 30, 1840
New Zealand Advertiser and Bay of Islands Gazette

Certified copy of an entry of DEATH
Registration district Reigate 1866 DEATH in the Sub-district of Reigate in the County of Surrey
No When and where died Name and surname Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description and residence of informant When registered Signature of registrar
245 Twenty second February 1866
Earlswood Asylum Royal Hospital?
Edward Charles
Male 21 years Son of William Brind Seaman Phthisis 2 years
Hemoptysis 9 days
Frederick Everitt In attendance Earlswood Asylum Royal Hospital? Twenty seventh January 1866 John Robert Sheppard

Phthisis is generally TB. Since he had had it quite along time I wonder if they sent him back from New Zealand to England in hope of finding a cure.
Hemoptysis: coughing up of blood. Common in TB.

Earlswood was probably in Redhill, East Surrey

NOW THERE IS HOPE by Freda Knight

This was the motto of the forerunner of the Royal Earlswood Hospital. For when this pioneering institution was founded 150 years ago, there was no hope for the feeble-minded or idiot as he was then described. They were either kept at home if they were lucky, or when relatives could no longer cope, they were either sent to the poor house or the asylum for the mentally ill. No distinction was made, no help given.

The Royal Earlswood story begins with a certain Mrs Plumbe who became increasingly concerned about the plight of these people and sought advice from medical men of her acquaintance, including Dr John Connolly of the Hanwell Asylum, who became famous for the abolition of mechanical restraint there. She also consulted the Rev Dr Andrew Reed, a well- known philanthropist of the day who had already founded several orphanages in the London area. He had himself been thinking along the same lines for some time, so Mrs Plumbe's approach could be said to have acted as a catalyst. They both felt that if only some education and training could be offered, the condition of these neglected people could be improved.

In the spring of 1847 Andrew Reed set off on a fact-finding mission, travelling to France, Germany and Switzerland where institutions had already been founded. He came back with much information, and was determined to tackle the problem in this country.

After careful preparation and advance publicity, a meeting was called at the Kings Head Tavern, Poultry in July 1847, where it was resolved to found an institution for the remedial care and education of the feeble minded. At a second public meeting at the London Tavern in October of the same year, with the Lord Mayor in the Chair, it was resolved to proceed with the project "The Asylum for Idiots" and that ‘it should be forthwith begun'. Various famous men such as Lord Palmerston, Baron Rothschild and Lord Ashley became officers of the charity.

By 1848, Park House Highgate had been acquired and 54 boys and 12 girls were admitted for training. It was the first institution of its kind in Britain.

Conditions soon became overcrowded but in 1850 this problem was partially solved by transferring 19 children to Essex Hall Colchester, an asylum developed by Samuel Peto. However it soon became apparent that larger premises must be found to cope with the demand and late in 1850 an 88 acre site at Earlswood was acquired. A public appeal was launched for the building of ‘The Asylum for Idiots' and a competition was held for the design of the building. Eventually the design of a Mr Moffat was chosen and a builders tender for £29,400 was accepted. The builder was Mr Jay who had built the Houses of Parliament.

The building was entirely financed by public subscription and Queen Victoria subscribed 250 guineas in the name of Edward Prince of Wales, who became a life member. Albert, Prince Consort took a special interest from the beginning. He laid the foundation stone in June 1853 and opened the Asylum in June 1855. In 1862 the Queen conferred a Royal Charter on the asylum.

Although not completed, patients began to be admitted in 1855 and children transferred from Park House and Essex Hall. Soon there were 300 patients in residence.

The first Medical Supt. at Earlswood was Dr John Langdon Down. He was a compassionate man, with radical views for the time, and during his 10 years at Earlswood developed a new model of care for the patients and was responsible for improving conditions and management of the asylum. Whilst working at Earlswood, he identified the condition he described as Mongolism, now known as Down Syndrome. He left Earlswood in 1868 to open Normansfield at Teddington, an establishment for the training of mentally subnormal children of the wealthier classes.

It soon became obvious that the building needed to be enlarged, such was the demand for admission. So a further appeal was launched and on the 28th June 1869, the foundation stone for the extension was laid by Prince Edward and Princess Alexandra. It was completed in 1872.

Admission to the asylum was by a novel system of Election. Each subscriber had the power of one vote for each half guinea subscribed. Candidates for admission who came from all over the country, supplied details of their condition and circumstances for consideration. If a candidate was unsuccessful at the first election, votes could be carried forward to the next election. If after 6 elections he remained unsuccessful no further attempts were allowed.

Fee-paying patients were accepted without election and these patients often had their own apartments and their own attendants. Three categories of patient were admitted, 25% very improvable, 50% less improvable, and 25% scarcely or wholly unimprovable. Patients were usually admitted for 5 years. If after that time it was felt further improvement was likely they could be re-elected for a further period, otherwise they would be discharged.

Children were educated as far as possible and then trained in a variety of trades e.g. carpentry, brush-making, printing, shoe-making, tailoring, laundry and domestic work and work in farm and garden. Patients were treated kindly and fed well. Order and routine was established in their lives, daily exercise and leisure pursuits encouraged.

Of the many success stories of the system of education and training at Earlswood that of James Henry Pullen is the most outstanding. He became famous in his day as The Idiot Genius of the Earlswood Asylum. The Prince of Wales became his patron - Friend Wales - and when he died, aged 81, his obituary appeared in the Daily Telegraph.

He was born at Dalston, Hackney in 1835 into a respectable artisan family, one of 13 children, most of whom died in childhood. He appeared at first to be virtually deaf and dumb but did gradually learn to speak, write and spell a few words. His sister told of his early talent for whittling small models from firewood. It took his family nearly 2 years to collect enough votes for him to be elected to Essex Hall in 1850, aged 15. Here he learned to read and write and when he was transferred to Earlswood in 1855 he was put into the carpenter's shop for training. Here he made rapid progress and was soon allowed to work on his own. Eventually he was given his own workshop and when he wasn't engaged in carpentry for the asylum, he was allowed to work on his own productions.

Over the 60 years he lived at Earlswood he made hundreds of drawings, paintings, models and pieces of furniture. One of them is the Princess Alexandra, a six foot long 40 gun Man O'war which was on show at the asylum on every public occasion and exhibited in London and Paris where it won a bronze medal. His most famous work is probably the Great Eastern, an eleven foot long model of Brunel's famous paddle steamer - every part made by himself. He also built a trolley to transport his large boats, which acted as a launching device and also incorporated a pulley that lifted the deck of the model, revealing the cabins below. The other remarkable model is a two foot long model called the State Barge or Fantasy Boat. Angels are in the prow and Satan subdued in the stern, carved from ivory sent to him by the Prince of Wales. The hull is solid ebony.

By the 1870s reports of the poor idiot with the remarkable mechanical genius were appearing in the national and local press and he became famous. Landseer visited him and sent him engravings of his own for him to copy. Dozens of them lined the corridors of Earlswood for years. The Prince of Wales visited him and visitors came from all over the world to see his work. With all this adulation he became very conceited and often difficult to control, if not allowed to do as he pleased. He made all sorts of booby traps to keep unwelcome visitors out of his workshop. On one occasion, having taken a violent dislike to an officer of the asylum, he set up a device to guillotine the poor fellow. Fortunately it went off a few seconds too late…

Pullen was also a very fine carver of ivory and wood and he made many small intricate items that he sold for pocket money. He used to visit Earlswood village and went regularly into Redhill, calling in at all the many pubs on the way, where he took orders and sold his brooches etc. On one of these occasions he returned to the asylum very much the worse for drink and got a severe reprimand from Dr Caldecott. He was much chastened, signed the Pledge and never drank again.

On one of these expeditions he met a young women, fell in love and insisted that he be given his discharge in order to marry her. This caused great consternation as Pullen was such a draw and money-spinner for the asylum. One of the governors called Pullen to the Board Room and told him that of course he could leave it he wanted to, but they would be sorry to lose him. If he would reconsider, they would make him an Admiral of the Fleet with a lovely naval uniform resplendent with brass buttons. This was too much for Pullen. He took the uniform and wore it on all public occasions and never mentioned the young woman again.

Many theories have been put forward to explain Pullen's condition. He has always been quoted as the most talented Idiot Savant, but it is likely that he wasn't really mentally retarded at all. Diana Cortazzi, a psychologist at Royal Earslwood, who started the Museum in the 60s has made a special study of Pullen. She concluded that he was suffering from aphasia with high frequency deafness; this is a difficulty in comprehending and using language due to a defect in the central nervous system.

Despite financial difficulties throughout its history the first 50 years showed steady progress and improvement, but by the start of the new century, the asylum began to lose its way. There was no longer any emphasis on training to rehabilitate to the community; patients came to stay. Attitudes were changing. The coming of the FWW caused a decline in standards, with staff shortages. Wards were overcrowded, food was poor and unimaginative treatment prevailed. Gradually things improved however.

On 5th July 1948 the hospital ceased to be a charitable institution and was absorbed into the NHS. Money was still short at first and the farm was closed. Many improvements were carried out, including the building of villas in the grounds in the 1960s, to house patients in smaller communities.

On the 31st March 1997 the Royal Earlswood closed and all the residents were moved out into the community into a variety of housing, from residential homes or staffed group homes, to self-contained flats, according to their need. They are learning to live a more normal life in the community.

So here we are 150 years on, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NHS. Those early pioneers intended to educate, train and return their patients to the community where possible and now with community care this has truly come about. If Andrew Reed were with us today, I'm sure he would approve, and the motto "Now there is hope" still seems appropriate.

From familyytree circle

Alfred Henry BRIND & Mae Harriet Sophia WEEDEN - Nelson, Westport & Hawera Journal by ngairedith Alfred Henry BRIND married Mae Harriet Sophia WEEDEN at the Weslyan Chapel, Nelson, Marborough in May 1865

Alfred was a son of Captain William Darby Brind (1794-1850), Master mariner, whaler (Engand to Kororahrika, Bay of Islands) and Eliza Anne SNOSWELL (1816-1885) who married at Gravesend, Kent on 19 Dec 1835 and had at least 9 chilren - see also Girls' War. Called the Girls’ War because it began with insults and curses being exchanged between young high-ranking Maori women, rivals for the affection of Captain William Derby Brind - DEATH On August 7, 1885, at the residence of her son, Alton-street, Nelson, Eliza Anne, relict of the late Captain William Darby Brind, of the Bay of Islands, N.Z., aged 69 the children of Alfred Henry & Mae Harriet Sophia Brind: 1

1866 - ? Mae Elizabeth Fanny Brind BORN March 8, at her residence, Nile-street, the wife of Mr A. H. Brind, of a daughter MARRIED Horace KNIGHT-BAKER (1868-1931) in 1893 - 1893 Hawera, Mrs Horace Knight Baker will visit pupils for pianoforte at their homes and also at Normanby school residence DEATH on the 8th June 1931, at his residence 23 Friend street Karori, Horace Knigh-Baker, beloved husband of Fannie Baker, and father of Mrs Noreen Colwill.A patient sufferer at rest

1867 - 1867 unnamed female Brind BORN on 13 July, Mrs A. H. Brind (prematurely) of a daughter DIED on 14 July 1867, the infant child of Mrs A. H. Brind

1868 - ? Minnie Phoebe Kate Brind BIRTH - On the 4th November, Mrs Alfred H. Brind, of a daughter MARRIAGE - At the Manse, Invercargill, on the 18th October, by the Rev. George Lindsay, John Henderson McGAW, to Minnie Phoebe Kate, second daughter of A. H. Brind, Esq., Nelson MARRIED William Spencer SMITH in 1901 OR William SPENCER-SMITH

1871 - 1872 Emily Maria Maud Brind DIED On December 28, at Nelson, Emily Maria Maud, youngest daughter of Mr A. H. Brind, aged 1 year and 10 months (a week after her brother William Henry, below)

1872 - 1872 William Henry Brind BORN on July 18, at Nelson, the wife of Mr A. H. Brind of a son DIED on December 20 1872, at Nelson, William Henry Brind, infant son of Mr A. H. Brind, aged 5 months 1875 - 1876 Alfred Russell Brind - Alfred died aged 1 month

1878 - 1950 Constance Evylyn Brind BIRTH 6 March 1878 at Collingwood street, the wife of Alfred Henry Brind, of a daughter MARRIAGE - on the 27th October, 1906, at Christ Church, by the Rev J.B. Maclean, Robert John Henry, eldest son of Thomas Nicholas Esq., Hawera, to Constance Evylyn, youngest aughter of A. H. Brind, Wanganui

1881 - 1966 Eardley Reginald John Brind - in November 1907 Eardley was made night-watchman for the town of Wanganui. "Mr Brind holds some excellent credentials as to his efficiency as a night-watchman, and no doubt the knowlege of his engagement in the capacity will afford our local merchants and business people generally, an dditional indicaiton that during the long hours of the night their interests and their property will be well looked after" - Eardley was a Seaman, He died aged 84 23 July 1966. He is buried Plot 215, Block F at Orowaiti cemetery (Westport) with Mary Esther (born Auckland 1881 - died 26 Jan 1965) 13 July 1916 - BOYD, In loving memory of my little mate, James Kelvin Boyd, who died in Paekakariki on the 13th July 1915. Still in memory ever dear. Inserted by Eardley Brind (James was 4, son of Robert James BOYD & Minnie DIEPENHEIM). Same Memoriam was inserted in the Evening Post in 1920

1884 - 1884 Emeline Haywood Brind - Emeline died aged 12 hours

BRIND - At Hawera, on Monday, 21st April, 1924, Alfred Henry, dearly beloved husband of Mae Brind, of Caledonia Street, Hawera; aged 81 years. Deeply regretted - OBITUARY of Alfred BRIND

... The death occurred in the Hawera Hospital on Monday of Alfred Brind, of Caledonia street, Hawera. Deceased, who was in his 82nd year, had lived a number of years in Hawera, but he was really an old resident of Nelson. He was born in Russell, his father, Captain William D. Brind, coming to New Zealand 108 years ago. When 15 years of age deceased went to Greenwich Naval College, where he received his education. Later he joined the navy, but the call of New Zealand was strong and he eventually returned to his native country to join in the gold rush on the West Coast. Later he went to Nelson, and in the days when Nelson was a provincial district he was in charge of the Government buildings in that town. Then came 25 years of service in the Anchor Line, during which time he was aboard the boats running between Nelson and Westport. Retiring from the sea he purchased the Grand Hotel in Westport, includng the Egmont and Commercial Hotels in Hawera.

Deceased, who was much respected and had many friends, leaves a widow, a son and three daughters. The son is Mr J. Brand of Hawera and the daughters are Mrs BICHOLAS (Hawera), Mrs Horace Knight BAKER (Wellington) and Mrs Spencer SMITH, who is now travelling in Australia