Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Edward Fearon Burrell (1840-1909) of “Penton”, Orinoco: A versatile settler.

"They that tread the path of labour follow where my feet have trod
They who work without complaining, do the holy will of God."
Edward Fearon Burrell (1840-1909),
 farmer and teacher.

On the morning of August 24, 1858, the small trans-Tasman steamer “SS Wonga Wonga” berthed at Nelson after a miserably rough trip across Cook Strait from Wellington. She brought with her the English mail for May and a number of passengers relieved to be back on terra firma, among them Mr F. Lee and his touring theatrical company, and thirty-five recent arrivals from London who had taken passage to New Zealand on the ships “Harkaway” and “Maori”. (1) One of these new immigrants was 18-year-old Edward Fearon Burrell, happy to be met at the wharf by his uncle Captain Edward Fearon, who had brought a horse for his nephew to ride to the Wakutu Hotel. There they rested before tackling a further trip to Captain Fearon’s home in Motueka on the western shore of Blind Bay (now Tasman Bay), 20 miles from Nelson by sea and 35 arduous miles by land.

"Although having been on board the 'Maori' for about five months I had never been seasick,
but this little steamer crossing Cook Strait gave me untold misery"
One of the Nelson region’s many resourceful unsung pioneers, Edward Fearon Burrell was born on 1 May 1840 at the family’s up-market terraced home at 48 Trinity Church Square, Newington, London, and baptised on 27 May 1840 at Newington, Holy Trinity. He was the third child and only surviving son of Thomas Gibbard Burrell (1803-1847) and Mary Fearon (1804-1854) who had married on 23 May 1835 at St Mildred’s, Bread Street, London. Among the witnesses at their wedding were Mary’s sister Sarah Fearon and cousin George Tinniswood, son of her mother Elizabeth’s twin sister, Ann Tinniswood (nee Hodgson).

Mary was born in London, but her parents, Isaac Fearon (1779-1816) and Elizabeth, formerly Baty nee Hodgson (1775-1832), were both natives of Cumberland in northern England. Although a London-based merchant and stockbroker, her father Isaac was the son of Quakers John and Sarah Fearon, and born at Brigham, a Quaker stronghold near Carlisle. Isaac appears to have become a practising Anglican, but he may well have had a connection with the Quaker merchants, financiers and bankers who were a prominent presence in London's financial sector at the time.

Trinity Square, Newington, London.
"I remember so well the old church in the centre of 
the Square, which was fenced in with iron railings, 
and there were some large trees round about it".
Thomas Gibbard Burrell, eldest son of Joseph Burrell  (1771-1856) and Penelope Jane nee Gibbard (1772-1851), was also born in London. His mother was a Londoner, daughter of prosperous master silversmith/watch-case maker Thomas Gibbard and Jane (nee Hardy), but his father Joseph (son of George, son of George) was born at Bassington in the parish of Eglingham and came from a long line of Northumbrian landed gentry. Joseph’s great-grandfather William Burrell held the Bassington estate in the late 17th century. His was a cadet branch of the influential family best known for Thomas Burrell Esq. (1654-1730) of Broome Park, a considerable landowner and magistrate during the Stuart period. There’s also a family connection to Scottish shipping magnate and philanthropist, Sir William Burrell. whose great-grandfather was Joseph's brother, George.

Thomas and Mary had five children, but only three survived infancy; Emma Hardy (born 27 December 1837), Edward Fearon (born 1 May, 1840), and Mary Ellen Gibbard (born 31 January 1843). Their first child, Elizabeth Jane, was born 22 March 1836, but died in July 1837, and George Harrison, daughter Mary’s twin brother, died 21 February 1845 at the age of two. (2) The 1841 census of England shows the extended family at Trinity Square included Thomas and Mary Burrell, with children Emma and Edward, Thomas’ parents Joseph and Penelope Burrell, and Mary’s closest sister Sarah Fearon (1805-1858), who never married, but devoted her life to the care of her nephew and nieces.

"We had a club about two feet in length which my father had at the time when
he was sworn in as a special constable, the Chartist riots being on.
This club was painted black with gilt letters on it;
I forget what these letters were."
The Burrell family had been well off, but Joseph blew his fortune on dodgy investments. Unfortunately he not only lost his own money but also his wife's and son Thomas’, leaving the whole household in straitened financial circumstances. Although a gentleman by birth, Thomas Burrell had been obliged to take work as head clerk in the office of a London merchant. He was one of the citizens sworn in as special constables when the spread of the Chartist movement between 1838-1848 sparked fears of a popular uprising. This entitled him to carry the special issue truncheon which so fascinated his young son, Edward.  

Penton Bridge
"I used to like to stand on a bridge over a river, 
which was the boundary between England and Scotland,
with one leg in one kingdom and one in the other."
Around 1846 Thomas and Mary moved to Valentine Terrace, Blackheath Road, situated in the London district of Greenwich. Thomas died there on 26 April 1847 at the early age of 44 and from then Edward’s life changed. He was often farmed out to various relatives and his family, now consisting of Edward, his widowed mother, aunt, and sisters Emma and Mary, led a transitory life until his aunt Sarah  (“one of the best women who ever lived”), bought “Cumberland Cottage” on Amersham Park Road, Greenwich, so they could have a permanent home together. Edward attended Blue Style Academy, a grammar school in Greenwich, and at the age of 12 went to live with an uncle in the borderlands between England and Scotland.

This was almost certainly his mother’s cousin, Dr George Tinniswood of “Penton House” in Nicholforest, Cumberland. In 1847 George Tinniswood had married Emma Martin Fearon, Edward’s aunt and one of his mother Mary’s younger sisters. Emma died in childbirth at the age of 37, two years after her wedding, leaving a daughter also called Emma. Edward, who had never before been in the country, loved it there and later recalled this stay as being “the happiest time of my life”.

The "Maori"
"In one shop on my way to school there was the tattooed head of a Maori.

I believe there was a great trade done in these things at one time.
I never thought at that time that I should later come to New Zealand, and in a vessel called the 'Maori'".
His mother died in 1854 when Edward was 14, and was buried in the same vault at St John-at-Hackney as his father. It was the family church of choice and both his maternal and paternal grandparents were also interred there. When he was 16 Edward Burrell took a job at an architect’s office in London, the knowledge he gained there proving very useful in later life. However, adventure beckoned and after a couple of years of deskwork he decided to join his Uncle Edward in New Zealand. On 26 March 1858 he took ship from Gravesend on the “Maori”, under the command of Captain Petherbridge, and carrying 300 passengers on its fifth run to the British colony of New Zealand. (3) Tucked inside Edward’s luggage was a treasured memento, the Bible left to him by his grandmother, Penelope Burrell.

Left shorthanded by deserters, on arrival in Wellington the “Maori”’s captain offered Edward a very generous rate of pay if he would join the crew for the return trip, sailing via China to pick up a cargo of tea. He was tempted. Like many a “new chum”, he had been seduced by glowing accounts of a southern paradise and was underwhelmed by the reality of the raw colony: “It was not at all what I had thought it would be from the grand accounts I had read of and heard in England”.

Captain Edward Fearon (1813-1869)
of "Northwood", Motueka.
Edward Fearon Burrell's uncle.
A retired ship’s captain, Edward Burrell’s uncle, Edward Fearon, was his mother Mary’s youngest brother and one of Motueka’s earliest European settlers. Fearon emigrated to New Zealand with his wife Elizabeth (nee Ward) on the ship “Thomas Sparks”, arriving in Nelson on 29 February 1843. (4) In June that year he took up a 50 acre block of bush and flax swampland in Motueka and established a farm where he built a large homestead called “Northwood".

The community-minded Captain Fearon served a term in the Provincial Government as member for Motueka and Massacre Bay (now Golden Bay) during the First Nelson Provincial Council of 1853-1857. He also gave land for various amenities in the Motueka township, including the first St Thomas' Anglican church and a public library, known as the Motueka Literary Institution. His name remains as a memory in the Motueka place names Fearon Street (once the tree-lined avenue leading to his house) and  Fearon’s Bush, a public reserve.

After the Awatere was opened up in 1848, Captain Fearon was granted the grazing rights to a sheep run of 13,000 acres in the lower Awatere Valley, which he named “Marathon", and later freeholded. After spending a year working on his uncle’s Motueka farm (sowing and reaping crops, milking cows,  driving bullocks and putting up post-and-rail fences), Edward Burrell went to “Marathon”, “to keep a boundary and do general station work – mustering, shearing, dipping, marking and drafting”. With no fences, station hands had to regularly ride the boundaries to make sure no sheep strayed into other runs. He received 15 shillings a week for his efforts at a time when livestock was at a premium. Sheep were worth one pound each, young cattle three pounds, saddle horses fifty pounds and working bullocks thirty pounds a pair. Through this connection with “Marathon” Edward came to befriend the Chaytor brothers, John and Arthur, who would later become part of the Fearon and Burrell clans. (5)

"The Inland Kaikouras from the Awatere Valley, Marlborough"
Artist: John Gully (1813-1888)
Three years later Edward had had enough of the primitive and isolated life at the Awatere. He returned to Motueka in January 1863 and used some money he had just inherited from his mother’s estate to buy Crown Grant sections 23 & 30 at Riwaka, living at what is now the Motueka Bridge end of Lodder’s Lane. He slaved away trying to bring his land into production, sometimes working sixteen-hour days, and faced constant difficulties getting across the Motueka River, then unbridged. Running the ferry service was a condition attached to the pub nearby – not always a happy combination, as Edward discovered when he had to take over mid-stream from a ferryman too drunk to tell one bank of the river from the other!

Now their brother had a home of his own, his sisters Emma and Mary decided to join him in New Zealand and travelled out on the Cashmere”, arriving in Nelson on 14 October 1863, along with their “very tall” piano.  It reached New Zealand intact, but the last stage nearly did for it. During the crossing from Nelson to the Riwaka wharf the sounding board came loose, causing the piano to make such ghastly noises while it was being carried to Edward's house that the poor horse pulling the cart panicked and did its best to get rid of this terrifying object. Emma and Mary were never happy at Riwaka, being used to more company and refinement. (6) Edward gave up the battle, leased his farm to a friend in 1864 and rented a cottage in Motueka so they could enjoy a more sociable lifestyle with the Fearons and their circle of friends, who all lived in the same vicinity. These included the families of other notable Motueka pioneers, Danforth & Sarah Greenwood and Charles Thorp and his wife Mary (nee Ward), who was one of Mrs Fearon's younger sisters.. In 1865 Edward's oldest sister Emma Burrell used some of her inheritance to buy the "The Gables" a large Motueka homestead in Thorp Street. Built on seven-and-a-half acres taken from Sections 152 & 153, the land for this property was originally bought from Dr Greenwood around 1860 by Lieutenant Charles Pocock, formerly an officer with the British Royal Navy. The Burrell siblings lived there till 1870, when they moved out to Ngatimoti. Emma then leased "The Gables" to Richard and Mary Ann Wallis, who ran an orphanage there between 1870 and 1878.

Deep Creek, Wakamarina, 1864.
"Gold. Gold. Gold.
What would people not do for gold?"
After getting his sisters settled, Edward tried his hand as a digger at Wakamarina, where a gold rush was underway. He and a mate trekked over the Mangatapu, both carrying 80-lb swags holding tents, blankets, picks, shovels and as much hardtack as they could fit in. Upon reaching Canvastown they were ferried across the Wakamarina River in a canoe by entrepreneurial local Māori. Joining forces with a small party of other would-be diggers, they made their way through the bush and up the track, knee-deep in mud, to Deep Creek. It was dangerous work, the cost of supplies in Canvastown was exorbitant, the rain torrential, and with winter setting in “the cold was so severe that often our beards were frozen at night”. They had some small success, but after six weeks decided to call it quits and returned to Nelson. “We were certainly wiser, though not richer men, for gold digging is a great lottery. Some made a great deal of money at this rush, for it was a very rich field."

Back in Motueka, in 1865 Burrell bought a 166 acre block of densely wooded bushland (Crown Grant Sections 8 & 9, Square 3), going cheap in the Orinoco Valley at the settlement of Ngatimoti, about 19km inland from Motueka. His sisters also invested in parcels of land near his own, Emma taking up Section 14 and Mary Sections 17 & 18, Square 3, presumably to be farmed on their behalf by their brother. While still based in Motueka until 1869,  Edward started clearing the land at Orinoco, added adjoining Section 16 of 207 acres in 1866, and in 1867 employed a couple of sawyers and a brickmaker to work on site, and with the help of some neighbours put up an 8-roomed house, constructed of native kahikatea (white pine), on the flat. These neighbours were the Beatson brothers - David, Charles and Arthur - whose land adjoined his own. David Beatson in particular, whose "Woodland Terrace" property was right next door, on Sections 10 & 11, remained a life-long friend. He may also have had help from two new arrivals; Swedish brothers Per Johan (John) and Gotthard Cederman, merchant seamen who in January 1867 jumped ship in Nelson and found refuge in the hinterlands of Orinoco. Edward named his new homestead “Penton” after his uncle George Tinniswood’s Cumberland home, of which he had such happy memories. (7)

Edward and Emily (née Bowden) Burrell
on their wedding day, 30 March, 1869.
Photographer: J.D. Wrigglesworth,
Edward was nest-building. In 1865 he had met 14-year-old Emily Ellen Bowden while she was holidaying with the Fearons in Motueka, and she had made a lasting impression.

Emily was the second daughter of Thomas Adolphus Bowden and Caroline nee Treacher, who were then living at Spring Grove in Waimea. Born 28 September 1851 at Sampford, Arundel, Somerset, Emily was 4 years old when she emigrated to Nelson on the ship “John Phillips” in 1855, travelling with her parents, aunt Louisa Treacher, sister Dominica (Minnie) (5) and brothers Benjamin (6) and Ernest (2). (8) Benjamin later died of diphtheria in Nelson, but several more children joined the family in New ZealandLouis, Mary Rebecca, Edwin, Nelson and Walter. The Bowdens moved about frequently before eventually settling at “Brierly Farm” in Wakefield around 1882. Thomas was another versatile and industrious settler, his roles including Anglican clergyman, farmer, teacher, school inspector and author, publisher and seller of educational books. Between 1859-1864 the Bowdens lived in Nelson, where Thomas worked for Bishop Edmund Hobhouse as his secretary, librarian and general man of affairs. He also played a significant part in re-establishing the Bishop’s School and served as its headmaster.

The Bowden family had shifted to Wellington by March 30, 1869, when Edward Fearon Burrell, aged 28, married 17-year-old Emily Bowden at the church of St John the Evangelist in Trentham, Upper Hutt, the Rev. Daniel Desbois officiating (9) The newly-weds began their married life together at “Penton” in the Orinoco Valley and made a start on their family of eight: two sons; Edward Fearon Jnr (1874-1899) and George Norman (1876-1954) and six daughters; Mary Ellen "Nellie" (1870-1901), Alice Emma (1871-1896), Maud Emily Tracher (1878-1965), Nora Sarah (1881-1967), Bertha Caroline "Carrie" (1883-1962) and Frances Eleanor "Ella" (1885-1968). Their first child, Nellie, was born 3 February 1870, followed on 31 July 1871 by Alice.

There was great sadness when Edward’s uncle Captain Edward Fearon died in Nelson on 21 November 1869. His burial took place at the St Thomas' churchyard in Motueka (today Pioneer Park in Thorp Street), sited on land Fearon had himself donated to the community. Captain Fearon’s death at the relatively young age of 55 was attributed to stress caused by financial difficulties. His problems resulted from the sale in 1866 of his sheep station ”Marathon” to colonial con-man Joseph Dresser Tetley, which left him out of pocket to the tune of £20,700 – the equivalent today of around $2.2 million. (10) Edward Burrell was a trustee for the Captain’s estate and did his best in difficult circumstances to obtain a favourable financial outcome for his bereft aunt and cousins.

St Thomas' Anglican Church, Motueka,
with vicarage behind, ca. 1879
Artist:  E.A.C. Thomas
A happier family event took place at St Thomas' Anglican Church in Motueka on 9 April 1872, when both of Edward Burrell’s sisters were married in a double wedding ceremony conducted by the Reverend Samuel Poole.

Emma married Anglican clergyman Reverend Thomas Lloyd Tudor (1821-1902), first resident Vicar of Motueka (Tudor Street in Motueka is named for him). They had four children; Ethel, Edmund, Mary and Piers, who served in the Boer War and died of enteric fever in Pretoria, South Africa, in 1902. The couple first lived in Picton, base for Rev. Tudor’s work as a travelling missioner, then Wanganui, where he served as Vicar of Christ Church for many years. In 1894 the Tudors retired to Marton, where Rev, Tudor died in 1902. He was buried at the Marton Anglican Cemetery.

Mary Ellen married Arthur Chaytor (1843-1937), fourth son of barrister John Clervaux Chaytor and Lydia née Brown. His family were holders of the ancient manor of Croft-on-Tees in North Yorkshire. (11) On their marriage Arthur became the owner of Mary's Orinoco land, it being the legal position at the time that a married woman couldn't hold assets in her own right. (I1881 Edward handled the sale of Mary's Sections 17 & 18 to John Cederman, who with his brother had bought part of Arthur Beatson's adjoining Section 20 in 1867). (12) Arthur took his bride to live in a “mud house” he’d built on a farm in the Moutere Hills, named ”Seaton” after a Chaytor family estate in England. His holdings (initially comprising Sections 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7) encompassed the area of the present Mapua township and port (then known as Western Entrance), and over the years they increased to include much of the Bronte block.

Arthur Chaytor ran sheep and also established a flaxmill at the outlet to the Mapua mud flats later known as Old Mill Creek, using a bullock team to harvest harakeke (swamp flax) from the extensive wetlands in the vicinity. His flax dressing and washing machinery was made to an improved design patented by his younger brother Charles, for a time a partner in the business. Small steamers on the Nelson coastal run would call at the jetty Arthur built in the early 1870s so he could ship his flax fibre to Nelson. It was the first to be erected at the site of today’s Mapua wharf. (13) Chaytor Road and Chaytor Reserve in Ruby Bay, Old Mill Walkway and Seaton Valley Road are reminders of the Chaytor family and their estate, broken up around 1906.

"Northwood", home of the Fearon family in Motueka.
Burnt down in the late 1920s, it was replaced on
the same site by another showplace house
built by hop industry legend, Mac Inglis.
There was already a connection by marriage with the Chaytors - Arthur’s older brother, John Clervaux Chaytor Jnr, had married Captain Edward Fearon’s third daughter (and Edward Burrell’s cousin) Emma at St Thomas Church, Motueka, on January 30, 1867. They had a sheep station known as “Marshlands” at Spring Creek, Blenheim, where, like his brother, John Chaytor established a successful and long-running flaxmilling operation. John and Emma periodically spent time at “Northwood” in Motueka, and it was at “Northwood” that the first and most famous of their children was born in 1868 - Edward Walter Clervaux Chaytor (known to his troops as “Fiery Ted” for his distinctive red hair) a Boer War veteran and career soldier who served as a military commander of distinction during WWI, becoming the only New Zealander to exercise command of an ANZAC force at a divisional level.

On 17 April, 1872, just a few days after his sisters’ double wedding, Edward Burrell left Nelson with his wife and children on the steamer “Lyttelton”, bound for Wellington on a a horrendous trip in heavy weather which left the passengers fearing for their lives. He had been offered a position as clerk in the Customs Office in Wellington, which required him to travel extensively, spending time at ports all around the country "clearing goods at the Customs and also shipping goods to all parts of New Zealand, besides sending some by waggons, as there was no railway." The Burrells based themselves at a Tinakori Road residence in Wellington after leasing out the Orinoco farm to a Ngatimoti friend, Charles Malpas. The Bowdens were still resident in Wellington and in the process of establishing their publishing and bookselling business, the NZ Educational Depository. Visits were frequently exchanged between the Burrell and Bowden households; Edward helped fit out the Depository rooms and Emily’s mother and sisters Minnie and Mary enjoyed spending time with the children. (14)

Queen's Wharf
Harbour and waterfront, Wellington City, 1871.

However, an economic slump hit the country and with redundancy looming it seemed a good idea to return to farming. Edward and Emily left Wellington on 6 February 1874, and on the way back to Ngatimoti they stayed with Edward’s sister Mary and her husband at “Seaton”.

Emily’s 15-year-old sister Mary Bowden accompanied them as a mother’s help and joined their household for several years. Emily had two young children and was now expecting another. Known as Eddie to his family and Ted to his friends, Edward Fearon Burrell Jnr, was born at Ngatimoti on 13 July 1874. 

In later years Mary Bowden, who married Orinoco farmer Alexander Strachan in 1894, paid tribute to her brother-in-law’s energy, enterprise and wide range of skills, making reference to “the tremendous amount of work he got through day after day. I do not know of anyone who could equal him in that respect.” (15)

The Burrells found that during their absence in Wellington more settlers had moved into the Ngatimoti area and Edward set up a brick-making business to supply material for the construction of new houses, several of which had a short life span.

The tranquil beauty of the Motueka River belies its destructive force in flood.
Ngatimoti suffered several major floods during the 1860s and ‘70s, partly a result of land clearance stripping away the native bush that had acted as a natural sponge. The worst occurred during a storm in February 1877, when what became known as the “Old Man Flood” tore down the Motueka Valley, reshaping both the landscape and the Motueka River itself. Remarkably, no lives were lost, though several people were injured and others had to be rescued from precarious perches in trees. Homes and stock were swept out to sea and several settlers left the district to begin again elsewhere. Edward Burrell was fortunate – a contemporary report singles him out as the only Ngatimoti landowner not affected by the general devastation. (16) Used in homes for cooking and lighting and as a tool for clearing land, fire was also a constant danger. Burn-offs frequently got out of hand and caused significant damage. 

Dovedale School
"I have often thought what a responsible position
a school teacher's is,
for they have the moulding of so many different characters,
no two children being alike in disposition or ability
A public-spirited man, as well as putting in long hours on his farm and working with neighbours to cut a track through Rosedale to connect Orinoco with Neudorf (settled by German families and known then as the "German Village"), Edward Burrell also found time to serve on both the Motueka and Pangatotara Road Boards, being much amused by the absurdity of having  to write letters to himself when communications were required between the two Boards. He was  also a member of the Central Board of Education based in Nelson, which involved superintending the erection of school rooms and school houses and collecting education rates. Sometimes after attending various evening meetings he would fall asleep, leaving his horse to bring him home through the dark, once being rudely awakened when his horse stopped abruptly at the gate, job done, and dumped him on the road.

Horseback was by far the easiest and fastest way to travel for many years, and the Burrells, including the children once old enough, all rode everywhere - visiting friends at Ngatimoti, the Fearons in Motueka, the Chaytors at “Seaton” and the Bowdens at Wakefield. These trips often involved an overnight stay to give both horse and rider a much-needed rest. Horses were not just beasts of burden, but valued companions and workmates, each with its own name and distinct personality.

After the Ngatimoti School was established in 1868, Edward served as chairman on the Ngatimoti Education Committee, and in 1877 was asked if he would take over as schoolmaster for up to 50 pupils at Dovedale, a small farming community over the hill from Orinoco. The school there had first opened in 1869.  "This was a new game for me, but I thought I would have at try at it." Edward Burrell’s holdings included Crown Grant Sections 6 & 16 in the village of Thorpe, and having obtained his teacher’s licence, Burrell lived there with his family between 1878 and 1881 while he was sole teacher at the Dovedale School. He kept up his involvement with St Thomas’ Anglican Church in Motueka, where he was a pew-holder and vestryman, and also conducted services as a lay reader at the schoolroom in Dovedale, with his musical sister-in-law Mary Bowden accompanying hymns on the harmonium. As was common in rural areas, the schoolroom came first and had a dual role as place of worship until a purpose-built church could be established.

A break in the cricket at an Orinoco Sunday School picnic in 1891
Country folk would travel far and wide to attend such social events.

Farming tasks still had to be fitted in around teaching. In his diaries Edward Burrell recorded long hours of farm work, giving a clear picture of a co-operative rural society dependent on neighbourly goodwill. Farms were run at a subsidence level. Hard cash was in short supply and settlers operated to a large extent by bartering their services and produce with each other. Edward often pitched in to help out on the farms of neighbours at busier times like shearing and haymaking, and his help would be reciprocated. Not to say there weren’t odd stoushes of the sort to be expected in an isolated community settled by a number of strong personalities. As Dovedale pioneer John William Win put it, “the first settlers were in fact very much like one family, having their squabbles, but working together for the common good.” (17)

Any rare chance for people to get together and socialize was fully embraced. “There were very few entertainments in those days in places like ours, so we made the most of what we got”, recalled J.W. Win. Sundays meant a catch-up with neighbours after church services, often followed by dinner with friends or relatives. Hospitality was freely exchanged and visitors welcome, sometimes staying for weeks or even months. It wasn’t uncommon to put awkward relations on rotation in this way to spread the burden around a family. Occasional cricket games between various small settlements like Dovedale, Upper Moutere and Ngatimoti were popular, and church picnics and school concerts drew large crowds, with people from far and wide attending despite the time and discomfort involved in travelling (while living in Dovedale Edward Burrell noted that a trip made by trap to Motueka took four hours). Often these events concluded with a dance lasting until the following morning. (18)

Hops were a staple cash crop in the Motueka Valley.
Hop-picking was generally done by women and children.
In 1879 Burrell was recorded as running 275 sheep on his Thorpe property and in 1881 he put in hops, widely grown as a useful cash crop in the Motueka Valley before being gradually replaced by raspberries, then tobacco. (Interestingly, Edward used to grow tobacco at "Marathon" in the 1860s, long before it became a standard crop -  brewed up with sulphur and soda, it made a noxious dip used in an attempt to control scab in sheep). Most farmers had a hop garden and hop-kiln, and the school summer holidays were structured to fit around the hop-picking season. There would be a short break at Christmas, with the rest taken around early March, beginning as soon the first hop-garden was ready to be harvested. Hops were grown on long poles and as he cleared the bush on his land, Edward developed a sideline selling manuka hop poles. These were transported to “Seaton” to be shipped to Nelson and Motueka. Meanwhile, his family was growing; a second son, George Norman, was born 29 March 1876, then daughters Maud Emily Treacher on 20 April 1878 and Nora Sarah at Dovedale on 8 January 1881.

On this last occasion Edward Burrell wrote in his diary, “Jan 8, 1881, fine day. Altered my cupboard. Emily had a daughter about 5 pm”.

With large families the norm, births were common but so were maternal deaths. Edward’s laconic note probably belied a certain amount of anxiety. Distance and difficult roads meant medical help could not be relied upon, and women helped each other. Emily was attended by Mrs John Davies, who served as midwife and stayed on for several days afterwards to help the new baby settle in. She was assisted by the Burrells’ neighbour, Mrs Job Best. At the time it was the custom for new mothers to have a lengthy “lying-in” period where possible, a practice no doubt much appreciated by hard-working pioneer women. Emily was up and about twelve days later. (19)

That Edward should be busy altering a cupboard while his wife was in labour is probably the clearest indication of his state of mind. In his few spare moments he could often be found wood-working, an activity he clearly found a therapeutic form of stress release. He may have been following in his father’s footsteps – one of his very earliest memories as a small child was of playing with his father Thomas, “a very good amateur carpenter,” while he "amused himself making a little toy doll’s house dresser" for Edward’s sister.

A little bushland school.
Fern Flat, Murchison. first opened in 1880.
Next step for Edward Burrell was a transfer to the Buller area around October 1881, where he taught for a few months at the Fern Flat School in Murchison. Returning for the best part of a year to "Penton" in 1882, Edward worked on and oversaw the widening and metalling of the Rosedale track (his contract being for the Orinoco end of the Rosedale Road to the summit of the Rosedale Hill). During this time he cleared bush, mostly tawhai (black birch), and completed two miles of work on the Rosedale Road. His older children attended the Ngatimoti School and helped prepare hop poles for sale. The family then moved to Wakefield where two more daughters were born; Bertha Caroline (Carrie) on 23 May 1883, and Frances Eleanor (Ella) on 17 January 1885.

The Burrell family at 88 Valley, Wakefield ca.1885
"32 acres and a 7-roomed house with out-buildings"
L-R: On the porch: Alice & Nellie
 Maud, Edward holding Carrie, Nora, Emily holding Ella.
Front: Norman and Edward Jnr 
From 1884-1887 Edward was employed as assistant teacher at the Bishop’s School in Nelson, which his sons Ted and Norman attended. During this time the Burrell family lived on a farm in 88 Valley and travelled into Nelson by train from Wakefield. Burrell also bought a cottage on Alton Street in Nelson which he used for overnight stays when he had business in town. With the Bowdens living by then at “Brierly Farm” in Wakefield, there was a lot of coming and going between the two families. Burrell took Sunday School classes and was a lay reader at St John’s, Wakefield. 

Teaching could be a family affair - In January 1888 the minutes of an Education Board meeting noted that “Mr Burrell was appointed teacher at the Pigeon Valley School on condition that Mrs Burrell taught sewing”. (20)

“Penton” was advertised for sale or lease in 1878 and again in 1883 and 1886. It didn't sell, but Edward leased it to various local residents during that time, including John Cederman. He also seems to have made deals with several Ngatimoti acquaintances regarding the sale of a number of sections fronting the eastern side of Rosedale Road and cut from his Section 101, Blk XIV, of 317 acres, acquired in 1882.  Records show he was receiving regular payments from Thomas Thomason, Charles Martin and George Holmwood. sometimes accepting labour in lieu of cash.

Bishop's School, Nelson.
Both Edward Burrell and his father-in-law,
 Thomas A. Bowden, taught here.
Edward Burrell appears to have made a similar sort of arrangement with Alfred Robinson, who took over the Burrells’ “Penton” farm on the north side of the Orinoco Road about the time he married Rose Delaney in 1887. He is recorded as paying off some of his debt by doing work on a block of bush belonging to Edward Burrell at the foot of Jacob’s Ladder (Section 122, Blk XIV, of 316 acres, also taken up by Burrell in 1882).  It seems Alfred was at first renting, but bought the property around 1889 after it was advertised again for sale with easy terms as "a freehold farm containing 307 acres of good grazing and agricultural land, Section 9 and Part Sections 8 & 101, together with eight-roomed house etc., situate about two miles from Post Office." (21) Sometime not long after Alfred bought the "Penton" property, the original homestead built by Edward Burrell in 1867 burnt down, its former site marked for many years by several big blue gum trees and the old home orchard. Alfred built a new home, known as “Bank View”, up on the hill to replace it. (22) 

A gathering of the Burrow clan at "Waituna", Orinoco in 1917 
Before Ted Burrow and Alf Thomason went off to war.
L-R Back: Bessie Burrell (née Burrow), Lawrence Canton, Norman Burrell, 
 Bert Canton (holding baby Herbert Canton), Edith Canton (née Burrow), 
Ted Haycock, Pearl Haycock (née Burrow)
 Middle (seated): Ted Burrow, Minnie Nimmo (née Burrow), Evelyn (Lyn) Burrow, 
Alf Thomason, Mabel (May) Thomason ((née Burrow), 
matriarch Annie Burrow (née Robinson)
Front: Howard (Bill) Haycock, Henry (Harry) Nimmo, Frances Minnie Nimmo, Annie (Nancy) Haycock, 
Donald (Don) Burrell, Evelyn (Lyn) Nimmo, John (Jack) Canton.

In 1882 Robert and Mary Hannah (née Butler) Robinson came to live at Orinoco after buying a 360 acre farm in Lloyd’s Valley. Their adult sons Alfred and Ernest (Ern) came with them. As well as working on the family farm, both worked as drovers for an Orinoco-based enterprise which provided useful cash in hand for local farmers by taking mobs of sheep down to the Addington saleyards in Christchurch, travelling over Tophouse and through Hamner and Culverden. (23) Alfred shifted to Takaka in 1901 and his recently widowed sister Annie Burrow (née Robinson) then moved into “Bank View.” The arrival of Annie and her family of six -Elizabeth (Bessie), Edith, Ivy Pearl, Mabel (May), Evelyn (Lyn) and Edward (Ted) - made a significant impact on the Orinoco Valley, as before long her daughters Bessie, Edith, Pearl and May had married into local farming families. Annie and her children became part of the Burrell family on 22 June 1903, when her daughter Bessie married Edward Burrell’s son Norman, the wedding taking place at "Bank View".

Second "Penton" homestead ca. 1893, still looking very new.
Back in the Orinoco Valley, this time at the foot of Jacob's Ladder.
 E.F. Burrell seated at the edge of the verandah, with a trap parked at his left.

The Burrell family returned to Orinoco in 1892, moving into a new “Penton” homestead, built not on Edward's original "Penton" property (by that time owned by Alf Robinson) but on Section 122, Block XIV. This was situated right at the end of the Orinoco Road, at the head of the valley and the foot of the road to Dovedale, over what then became known as ‘Burrell’s Hill” (now “Jacob’s Ladder”). Helped by his sons, Edward carried on with the never-ending tasks necessary for the running of a mixed farm – clearing land and sowing it with grass seed, ploughing, harrowing and planting crops then later harvesting them, splitting timber for firewood and palings, fencing, and animal husbandry. Horses were still essential as a means of transport but although horse-drawn carriages were soon to be replaced by motor vehicles, horse teams continued to be the mainstay of heavy farm work well into the 1930s and longer. Edward’s grandson Frank Burrell was by no means alone in still using draught horses for ploughing, cultivating and haymaking on his Orinoco farm in the 1950s and early ‘60s, even after he bought his first Massey Ferguson tractor.

The Burrell family ca. 1894
L-R. Back row: Nellie, Edward Jnr, Alice, Norman, Nora
Front: Maud, Emily (mother), Ella, Edward (father), Carrie.
Public affairs and education continued to be of ongoing concern. From 1868 Ngatimoti had had a school on Waiwhero Road at what was then the junction with the Orinoco Road, but  the increased number of school-age chldren  at Orinoco and down Rosedale Road (largely due to those growing families who had settled on former Burrell land) led to a call for a second public school in that vicinity. In December 1892  Edward Burrell and Alfred Robinson attended the Nelson Education Board Committee's monthly meeting to present a petition signed by a number of Ngatimoti residents asking for such a school to be established. The locals eventually got their way when a "side school" was opened near the intersection of the Orinoco and Rosedale Roads in July 1894. Although a separate establishment, it was officially a branch of the Ngatimoti School, which then became known as the "Big School". The first teacher at the Orinoco s School was Miss Esther Eves, who boarded with  Robert & Hannah Robinson at their Lloyd Valley home. In later years a number of Orinooco School teachers boarded with the family of Edward Burrell's son Norman at the foot of Jacob's Ladder.

Edward Fearon Burrell's last stint as a teacher came in July 1893, when Edward was called upon to act for several months as a reliever at Riwaka after the schoolmaster there, Mr Jennings, died suddenly.

A longstanding project close to his heart was getting the Nelson railway line extended to Motueka. Following the opening of the line from Nelson to Foxhill, Edward Burrell first promoted this idea at a public meeting held at the Motueka Institute on 23 September 1876, and as late as July 1901 raised a petition on the same subject to be delivered to Parliament, for which he obtained 1200 signatures. He received support in principle from the Nelson City Council, as minuted in the "Colonist" on 18 January 1902: "The Council is in sympathy with the proposed railway between Nelson and Motueka and suggests Mr Burrell arrange a conference of the local bodies interested". All to no avail.

He also remained closely involved with the Church of England. Ngatimoti had its own Anglican church, St James’, from 1884, and Edward was a pew-holder and lay reader there between 1892 and 1903. As a fond father, his faith must have been tested during those years. His second daughter Alice died of consumption on 29 August 1896, the same disease taking his older son Edward Jnr on 23 July 1899. (24) Two years later his oldest daughter Nellie, who had married Henry Dudley Thomas Salisbury from the Graham Valley on 4 October 1898, died of complications resulting from childbirth on 22 September 1901, leaving behind a baby girl named for her mother. All three are buried at the Waiwhero Cemetery.
Edward & Emily's first grandchild came at a cost.
Motherless baby Nellie Salisbury (b. 25 August, 1901) held by her aunt Mary Salisbury.
Grandfather Edward Burrell stands on the porch to her left, with wife Emily sitting below him.
Widower Dudley Salisbury stands at the left - the three girls in white seated next to him
 are believed to be the Burrell daughters, Nora, Carrie and Maud.
Edward’s youngest sister Mary Ellen Chaytor was another casualty around this time - she died in Motueka on 13 January 1898, mourned by her five children - Arthur Cuthbert, Walter, Frances Mary (Molly), Kathleen and Frank - and husband Arthur. He later joined her at the Moutere Hills Cemetery on Gardner’s Valley Road after his own death in 1937 at the age of 94.

Despite his sister’s death the brothers-in-law remained close, and when Arthur Chaytor remarried at All Saints, Nelson, to Mary Evelyn Allen on June 4, 1903. Edward Burrell gave the bride away on behalf of her late father, John Allen of Picton. Arthur disposed of his Mapua estate in 1906 and around 1912 also sold his Richmond home, “The Grange”, and went with his second wife to live at Farnham in Springlands, Blenheim.

Edward's aunt Elizabeth Fearon died on January 1, 1901 at the age of 90. Her daughter (Edward's cousin) Mary Hursthouse (née Fearon), died soon after, on September 1, 1901. Mary's husband Richmond Hursthouse, Motueka's first mayor and Edward Burrell's good friend, died the following year, on 11 November 1902. Hursthouse Street in Lower Moutere is named for him. The two served on many committees together over the years.

Marriage of Maud Burrell and Walter Beatson, 20 April, 1901.
Wedding at St James Church, Ngatimoti, 

reception at "Penton", Orinoco.

There were weddings to look forward to. On 20 April 1901 Edward and Emily’s third daughter Maud married Walter Griffin Beatson, second son of Edward's former Orinoco neighbour, David Guthrie Beatson of “Woodland Terrace”. (25) The newly-weds farmed for some years at Section 33, on the southern side of the Orinoco Road opposite the original "Penton" block", but later moved to Richmond to live.  On 21 June 1903 the Burrells' younger son Norman married Elizabeth Green (Bessie) Burrow (b. 14 April 1878),  second daughter of Annie and the late John Burrow. Norman’s cousin Walter Chaytor from “Seaton” was his best man. Norman and Bessie set up home at the Burrell property in Thorpe, but Norman continued to work with his father on the farm at "Penton”. The elder Burrells retired to Nelson and in August 1906 Norman bought the Orinoco farm from his father, with the Thorpe steading, by now reduced to 5 acres. advertised for sale or lease around the same time.

Retirement home at Tahuna built by Edward Burrell in 1904
L-R: Norman , Edward (father) Maud, unknown on porch,
Emily (mother) and Geoffrey (Maud & Walter Beatson's son)

David Beatson died at "Woodland Terrace" on 29 October 1903, and a large turnout saw him to his final resting place at the Waiwhero cemetery, the cortege numbering over forty vehicles. (26) Perhaps tthe loss of his old friend  marked a watershed for Edward, as between this time and 1905 he bought several sections at Tahuna, a new subdivision developed by the syndicate Fell, Jackson & Rout on land originally part of the Green estate known as ”The Sands”, (27) In April 1904 he built a retirement house on what became the corner of Rawhiti and Muritai Streets, tucked in against  the shelter belt of large old trees which surrounded the "Sands" homestead. 

Burrell did some commission work in Nelson as an agent for the Tahuna block and certainly a number of his friends ended up buying retirement sections there as well, including Alfred Robinson. He was also listed in October 1909 as an authorised land agent for the next stage of the "The Sands" development, billed as the Tahunanui Township”. From 1920 Tahunanu did in fact have its own Town Board and ran autonomously until passing over goverance to the Nelson City Council in 1950. Edward became the representative on the Nelson Diocesan Synod for the parish of Atawhai and attended St Barnabas Church in Stoke. St Barnabas, which opened in 1866, and was designed by Nelson architect William Beatson, grandfather of his son-in-law, Walter Beatson. 

On 2 June 1908, a telephone office was officially opened for business at Tahuna and to mark this significant event, as the new township's earliest settler, Edward Burrell was the chosen recipient of the first ever telephone call made to Tahuna from Nelson The caller, Presbyterian minister the Rev James McKenzie, relayed a suitably pious message for the occasion: "Let Tahuna flourish by the preaching of the Word of God. Health and happiness to you and yours". (28)

Arthur McGaveston and Ella Burrell
on their wedding day, 9 February 1909.
There were more deaths and weddings in the family. Emily’s father Rev.Thomas Bowden died on 24 June 1906 at Wakefield. Edward’s widowed older sister Emma Tudor died on 30 August 1907 and was buried at Linwood Cemetery, Christchurch, his cousin Elizabeth (Lizzie) Fearon died at Motueka on November 1, 1907, and on 9 February 1909 his youngest daughter Ella married Nicholas Arthur McGaveston, third son of John Cornwall McGaveston and his second wife Penelope née Wallis. The wedding took place at the Tahunanui School, then also used for church services, with the wedding breakfast held at Edward and  Emily’s home, just a short walk away. Arthur‘s parents retired to a smaller block on Greenhill Road (where the current Ngatimoti School stands) and Arthur and Ella set up home at the original McGaveston family farm called "Rathgar" at Pokororo, on the west bank of the Motueka River. They renamed it "Riversdale", as the elder McGavestons wanted to keep the name "Rathgar" for their new home - Rathgar, once a rural settlement but now a suburb of Dublin, being the retirement homeplace of John C. McGaveston's father, John Wynn McGaveston, formerly in service to the Honorable East India Company as surgeon to the 2nd Bengal Artillery,

The fifth Burrell daughter, Carrie, married in 1913 to Albert William Mark Russ, son of James Albert Russ and Sylvia née Davies. They settled at Appleby. Sylvia Russ was an old Dovedale connection, her mother Amelia Davies (née Newth) being Emily Burrell’s one-time midwife.

Edward Fearon Burrell
with his grandson, Geoffrey David (Geoff) Beatson (b. 1902)
"A modest, unassuming man with many friends and no enemies"
On 18 December 1909, Edward Fearon Burrell died suddenly in Nelson at the age of 70. He had been driving along Bridge Street when he fell out of his horse-drawn sulky and was found to be already dead by those who rushed to his aid. All those years of endless labour had taken their toll and he had suffered a fatal heart attack.(29) He was laid to rest in the St Barnabas churchyard on 20 December 1909, remembered as being “of lively, quick temperament, a modest unassuming man with many friends and no enemies.” (30) Emily was later buried beside him, and a plaque on their grave commemorates their son Norman, who was cremated after his death in 1954.

Emily stayed on at the Tahunanui home, shared with her unmarried daughter Nora. She added to her holdings by buying four sections on Muritai Street in 1913 and had the house remodelled around 1920. During the 1930s they shared their home with Caroline Gascoyne, a contemporary of Emily's and an old acquaintance from Ngatimoti days. She was the youngest daughter of Major Charles Manners Gascoyne, an East Indian Company officer who around 1857 settled at Pangatotara in the Motueka Valley on a farm he named "The Bungalow". Caroline's company may have been a mixed blessing - she had never married and was described as "autocratic". She died in 1939. After her mother’s death in September 1941, Nora lived on there for some years. She and her mother had joined St Stephen's Anglican Church after it was established at Tahunanui in 1911. and Nora ran a  Sunday School there. She gifted the house and section at 43 Muritai Street she'd inherited to St Stephen's in 1937, and the proceeds from the later sale of this property were used to build a new Sunday School, as she'd wished. The family home at 47 Muritai Street went in 1953 to first Dr David J. Stephen, then Dr Shanks, who both lived with their families and ran their medical practices there. It eventually became the site of the current Balmoral Motels. Nora moved to 1 Herbert Street in Richmond and remained there till her death in 1967 at the age of 86.

Ploughing at "Penton".
Norman Burrell (at the reins) continued to use horses for
 riding and farm work right up until his death in 1954.

Edward and Emily’s son Norman continued to farm “Penton” in Orinoco for the rest of his life. Like his father, Norman kept a daily record and some of his diaries still remain in the possession of the Burrell family.

The First World War hit the Orinoco Valley hard. Many of its young men went overseas to fight and nearly half of those never returned, including Bessie Burrell’s only brother Ted Burrow, who died in Palestine on the 1st of November 1918, and her brother-in-law, Alf Thomason, husband of her younger sister Mabel. Norman’s cousin Frank Strachan was another casualty. Norman’s own name came up in a ballot for the NZ Expeditionary Force Reinforcements in July 1918. He underwent some training, but wasn’t called upon to serve.

Norman and Bessie had four children; Kathleen “Kitty” (1905-1984), Norman Donald “Don” (1914-1976) and Frank (1919-1977).  Another son, Edward Fearon, was born on 8 May 1913 but died the same day. He lies with his father’s siblings Nellie, Alice and Edward at the Waiwhero Cemetery.

Kitty, who never married, attended Nelson College for Girls then worked with her mother at home and on local farms, doing seasonal work with hops, raspberries, tobacco and apples. She later spent many years working in Wellington, but returned home to look after her mother after Bessie had a stroke in 1951.

Norman & Bessie Burrell with their family at the 
new "Penton" home built in 1923.
L-R Back row: Kitty, Bessie, Norman
Front: Don and Frank.

Both sons attended Orinoco School and worked with their father on the family farm. After his marriage in 1942, Don and his wife Rona (née Green) went to live in the Pearse Valley, where his wife’s father Ernest McKellar Green had a farm and butchery business, and Don drove trucks for Ngatimoti carrier, P.N. Tomlinson. They later moved to Motueka, Hope, then Richmond, with Don working as a truck and digger driver around the Tasman district for Waimea Transport and Tuffnells. Both Don and Frank enlisted at the start of the Second World War, but illness saw Don sent home from training camp. Frank served in the Pacific. After demobilization he rejoined his father on the “Penton” farm and in 1948 married Lola Alderton.

 Before long Frank had his own farm at Orinoco, which he called “Clear View”. He had bought back the original “Penton” block first settled by his grandfather Edward Fearon Burrell and later occupied by his grandmother Annie Burrow, when it was known as “Bank View”. Frank built a new house down nearer the flat in 1961 and the old house built by Alfred Robinson on the hill was pulled down. And as they jounced their way to town over the narrow, twisting Rosedale Road, Lola Burrell could often be heard to say to her husband Frank, "With all due respect to your grandfather, I do wish he hadn't put so many turns in the hill road!"

The "Penton" home built by Norman Burrell in 1923
at the foot of Jacob's Ladder. The earlier house built there 
by his father

 Edward Burrell in 1892 was converted at the same time into a barn.
Norman and Bessie Burrell marked their 50th wedding anniversary at home in June 1953, with a celebration at "Penton" attended by 54 old friends and family members from near and far. Just over a year later Norman died at home on 5 October 1954, and following his death the “Penton” farm was sold to the Kingswoods. The “new” house built by Norman Burrell in 1923 to replace the earlier home built by his father burnt down not long after the property changed hands. The land was soon after onsold to the Foote family, who farmed it through two generations until 1991 under the name "High Hopes". Today the former "Penton" site is a desolate spot, the land reverted to scrub and no sign remaining of any former habitation.

Bessie Burrell and her daughter Kitty went to live in Vanguard Street, Nelson. Frank and his wife Lola remained on their “Clear View” farm until 1971, when they retired to Richmond, and the first and last of the Burrells’ Orinoco land then passed at one and the same time out of the hands of the family.

Although long gone from the Orinoco Valley, Edward Fearon Burrell’s descendants still remain in the Nelson/Tasman area. The Burrell name lives on today in “Burrell Park”, a public reserve in Tahunanui, created on land in Muritai Street which had originally adjoined Edward and Emily Burrell’s home and garden. Describing a five hour trip made by gig from Ngatimoti to visit her grandmother in the early 1920s (a distance of 48km), Emily’s granddaughter Ruth Pahl (née McGaveston) recalled that on arrival in Tahunanui their horse was “let loose in the paddock which is now Burrell Park”. (31) This paddock had already been in use for community events for many years before Emily Burrell formally gifted it to the  Tahunanui Town Board in December 1937 - Sunday School picnics held "under the trees in Mrs Burrell's paddock" being first mentioned in 1912. Currently it is also home to the Burrell Park Community Gardens. Edward Fearon Burrell, schoolmaster and man of the land, would surely have given this new initiative the tick of approval.

"Deep waters crossed life's pathway,
The hedge of thorns was sharp
And these lay all behind me,

Oh! for a well-tuned harp."

Acknowledgements: Mr Edward Heckels, Trinity Newington Residents’ Association, London, UK, 
Mr Edward Stevens, Ngatimoti historian, and Mr Dale Burrell, Stoke, Nelson, 
with especial thanks for access to family photographs, E.F. Burrell's diaries and memoirs.

Edward Fearon Burrell's holdings in the Orinoco Valley

These were a fluid affair, acquired and sold at differing times. His first land was the block comprising Crown Grant sections 8 & 9, Square 3, bought in 1865. This is where he had his initial Orinoco farm and built his first "Penton" homestead, later burnt down around 1889 after the property was sold to Alfred Robinson. Adjoining C.G. section 16 was added in 1866. 

The lease on section 19 was taken up in 1875. Sections 101 & 122, Block XIV, acquired in 1882, were leasehold land, which came with an option to purchase that he took up. Part of section 101 along Rosedale Road was divided up and sold to various Orinoco residents, with the remainder included in the sale to Alfred Robinson around 1889, along with original sections 9 & part 8.  

Section 122 at the foot of Jacob's Ladder became the second "Penton" block in 1892. Section 2, Block XIV, was picked up as perpetual leasehold land in 1891. Sections 20, 21 & 22 were acquired in 1900, and it's llikely all this land went together with Section 122 when Norman Burrell bought the "Penton" farm from his father in 1906.

Settlers were encouraged by local Land Boards to take leases on large areas of what were considered 
unproductive or "waste" lands, like those in the Orinoco Valley, given very easy terms and plenty of time 
and opportunity to freehold them.

All sections marked in green were held by E.F. Burrell at some point. The original "Penton" block established 
on C.G. sections 8 & 9 also formed the nucleus of two later farms, "Bank View" and "Clear View".

Sections highlighted in yellow belonged to Edward Burrell's sister Mary Chaytor nee Burrell. The section marked 
in pink belonged to Edward's other sister, Emma Tudor nee Burrell. Orange marks David Beatson's "Woodland 
Terrace" block.

Edward Burrell enjoyed playing around with investments (maybe it was in the blood?) and also had land at 
Wakefield, in Nelson, Tahunanui and Thorpe (Dovedale).


Opening quotation taken from the poem "They who Tread the Paths of Labour", by Henry Van Dyke. Used by 
Edward Burrell to close his "Reminiscences".

Van Dyke's poem also formed the lyrics for a Plymouth Brethren hymn, and this is no coincidence. Ngatimoti 
had an unusual religious make-up, with Plymouth Brethren and Anglicans being of equal numbers. The Plymouth 
Brethren had a strong following in the area, thanks to the influence of James George Deck, an ex-East India 
Company army officer and charismatic preacher who came to New Zealand on the "Cornwall" in 1853, and settled for a time along Waiwhero Road. Several of Burrell's friends, neighbours and in-laws were members of the 
Brethren - the David Beatsons, Salisburys, McGavestons, Cedermans and Ernest Robinson among them. All 
four of his daughters who married , married into Brethren families and themselves became Brethren. For 100
years from the time of first settlement until the Brethren moved to town as a group around 1970, Anglicans and 
Brethren ived together in the Motueka Valley, co-operating with each other on the whole in a spirit of goodwill.

Closing quotation is from Edward Burrell's favourite hymn, "The Sands of Time are Sinking", sung at his funeral.

Edward certainly battled with sharp thorns in his time, to his disgust, as it wasn't something he had expected:
"I read on board the 'Maori” a book called 'The Britain of the South', in which it said there were no weeds and
everything beautiful. I have found to my cost that all sorts of weeds, blackberries, gorse, briars, and thistles, 
grow to perfection". The irony being, of course, that New Zealand had none of these weeds until the settlers 
brought them out from England with them! The Beatson brothers set the ball rolling in the Orinoco when they 
planted three prized blackberry plants, David Beatson's wife Helen mourning the early loss of one. No matter, 
the other two more than made up for it and flourished with great vigour, much to everyone's later regret. 
His father-in-law Thomas A. Bowden gifted gorse to the Moutere!

Quotes within the text are E.F. Burrell's own words, taken from his "Reminiscences", unless stated otherwise.


1) Burrell, Edward Fearon (written 1906, collated 1924) "Reminiscences by An Old Identity" (Unpublished ms) 
Courtesy Mr D. Burrell
See also:
Entered Outwards: Arrival of the “S.S. Wonga Wonga”
(1858, 25 August) “Nelson Examiner & NZ Chronicle”, p 1

Note: Although unconfirmed, it's very likely that Isaac Fearon's parents were John Fearon, a yeoman farmer
from Dean, and Sarah Mark from Mosedale. Their marriage, recorded at the Carlisle Monthly Meeting, took 
place on 3 July 1777 at Gill Foot near Hesket in Caldbeck.

3) Whelan, Helen (nd) “Dictionary of Ngatimoti Biography: Edward Fearon Burrell. (Unpublished ms.) 
Courtesy Mr E. Stevens. Additional information sourced from

4) Kennington, A.L.(1978) “The Awatere: A  District and its People”. Blenheim, NZ: Marlborough District Council. 
Ch. 4 The Awatere Sheep Runs, p. 45.

5) Matthews, Nevil (October 1984) “The Chaytors of Coverham”
Nelson Historical Society Journal 1(4)

6) Shipping Intelligence: Entered Inwards.
Arrival 14 October 1863, the “Cashmere” from London to Nelson.
Misses E. Burrell & M. Burrell, cabin passengers. The “Cashmere” departed Gravesend, London, on 17 July 1863.
(1863, 16 October) “Colonist”, p 2

7) Burrell E.F., “Reminiscenes”

8) Whelan, Helen, (September 1986) “The Family Life of an Early Settler: Thomas A. Bowden (1824-1906) and 
his wife Caroline H.E. Treacher (1822-1914).”
Journal of the Nelson & Marlborough Historical Societies, 1(6)

9) Marriages: Burrell-Bowden
(1869, 9 April) “Colonist”, p 5

10) Kennington, “The Awatere” Ch 4, pp 45-46

11) Marriages: Chaytor-Burrell & Tudor-Burrell
(1872, 12 April) “Colonist”, p 5

12) Rose-Collis, Edith (2012, 2nd ed) "The Cederman Family: From Sweden to New Zealand". 'Nelson & Orinoco',
p. 8 and 'John & Christina', p. 11. Self-published online by author via My-Books. Courtesy Mr E. Stevens.

13) Wells, Bernard L. (1990) “The Fruits of Labour: A History of the Moutere Hills Area served by the Port of 
Mapua”. Nelson, NZ: B.L. Wells. Ch.2, First Europeans, pp. 12-13

14) Burrell, E.F. Extracts from diaries, 1874-1894 .
15) Whelan “A Dictionary of Ngatimoti Biography”

16) The Flood at Motueka
(1877, 12 February) “Nelson Evening Mail”, p. 2

17) “Dovedale’s History: A 1990 Celebration.” (1990) Extracts from the History of Early Dovedale by J.W. Win. 
Wakefield, Nelson, NZ: Dovedale Agriculture and Craft Centre Committee [unpaged].

18) Burrell, Edward Fearon.(nd) Extracts from diaries, 1874-1896 (Unpublished ms), Courtesy Mr D. Burrell
See also:
McAloon, Jim (1997) “Nelson: A Regional History”. Whatamango Bay, NZ: Cape Catley Ltd in association with 
the Nelson City Council. Ch 5, Agriculture & Rural Community: Burrell diaries, pp 101-103.
19) Beatson, Kath & Whelan, Helen (2003, 2nd ed.) "The River Flows On: Ngatimoti through Flood and Fortune". 
Motueka, NZ: Budden's Bookshop Ch. 29 Health Services, p. 124.  

20) Education Board Meeting
(1888, 2 February) “Nelson Evening Mail”, p 4

21) Auction on behalf Mr E.F. Burrell, freehold farm at Ngatimoti, easy terms.
(1889, 6 June) "Nelson Evening Mail", p 3

22) Sadd, Vern W. (1938) "The Evolution of Orinoco" [unpaged] Thesis offered for Teachers' Class C Examination.
(Unpublished ms) Courtesy Mr E. Stevens.

23) Brereton, C.B. (1947) “No Roll of Drums”.Wellington, NZ; A.H. & A.W. Reed. Ch. XIV Droving, pp 140-145.

24) Bereavement: Edward Fearon Burrell Jnr
(1899, 27 July) “Nelson Evening Mail”, p 3

25) Wedding at Ngatimoti: Beatson-Burrell
(1901, 24 April) “Colonist”, p.2

26) Local and District. Obituary: Mr David Guthrie Beatson of Orinoco
(1903, 7 November) "Colonist", p.2
Note: the "Colonist" incorrectly names him David George Beatson.

27) Tahunanui
The Prow.

28) Local & General News: Report of the first telephone exchange between Nelson and Tahuna
(1908, 2 June) "Nelson Evening Mail", pg 2

29) Local & General: Death of Mr E.F. Burrell
(1909, 20 December) “Nelson Evening Mail”, p 2

30) Beatson, Kath & Whelan, Helen "The River Flows On". Ch. 39 Personalities of St James': 
Edward Fearon Burrell, pp 167-8

31) Beatson & Whelan “The River Flows On”. Ch. 36 Early Transport, pp. 152-3

Photo Credits

Note: unless otherwise identified, photos are courtesy of Mr D. Burrell

"S.S. Wonga Wonga"
Clydebuilt website

Trinity Square (now known as Trinity Church Square), Newington, London.
Courtesy Foxton Real Estate, London.

Penton Bridge, Nicholforest Parish, Cumbria (formerly Cumberland) - on the boundary between England 
and Scotland

Artist unknown:[ The sailing ship "Maori" between 1851-1870]
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ. Ref: G-351

Captain Edward Fearon
Nelson Provincial Museum/ Davis Collection. Ref: 893

The Inland Kaikouras, from the Awatere Valley, Marlborough (1871)
Gully John (119-18880 artist, watercolour
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellinton, NZ. Ref:C-096-013

Deep Creek, Wakamarina, 1864.
Crawford, James Coutts (1817-1889)
Alexander Turnbull Library , Wellington, NZ. Ref:PUB-0085-261

Bishop's School, Nelson
Nelson Provincial Museum, F.N. Jones Collection.

St Thomas' Anglican Church and Mr Poole's Parsonage, Motueka (1879).
Thomas, E.A.C. (b. 1825) artist,
Alexander Turnbull Library, Welington, NZ. Ref:E305-q-057

Queen's Wharf, Wellington City, 1871
Stace, M.J., photographer
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ. Ref: 1/2-125995- G

The Motueka River
J. McFadgen

Dovedale School
Nelson Provincial Museum/ Tyree Collection

Orinoco Sunday School Picnic, 1891.
Nelson Provincial Museum/Tyree Collection

Smith, Sydney Charles, photographe
Sydney Charles Collection (PA-Group-00242)
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, NZ. Ref: 1/1-24911;E

Fern Flat School, Murchison
Nelson Provincial Museum/Tyree Collection.

Baby Nellie Salisbury with Burrell and Salisbury families
Salisbury, J. Neville (2006) "Bush, Boots and Bridle Tracks;The Salisburys:.Pioneers of the Motueka and
Aorere Valleys." Auckland, NZ: J. Neville Salisbury. The Pioneer Salisburys, Appendix 6, p. 278

Map of original Orinoco Valley sections, courtesy Mr E. Stevens. 
Identification of sites,  A. McFadgen.

1 comment:

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