[Sir George Ferguson Bowen, Governor of New Zealand.] Autograph Letter Signed, discussing T. A. Sneyd Kynnersley and 'the Maori difficulty'. With Autograph Letter Signed from Rev. Reginald Broughton regarding Kynnersley ('the best specimen of hero').

Sir George Ferguson Bowen, successively governor of the Ionian Islands, Queensland, New Zealand, Victoria, Mauritius and Hong Kong; Rev. Reginald Broughton, classical scholar and educator [Thomas Alfr
Publication details: 
Bowen's letter: 26 March 1870; on embossed letterhead of Government House, New Zealand. Broughton's letter: 11 March 1866; Vallombrosa [i.e. Vallombrosa preparatory school], Cheltenham.
SKU: 22420

Two highly interesting letters relating to nineteenth-century New Zealand. Both concern Thomas Alfred Sneyd Kynnersley (1839-1874), chief warden and commissioner of the Nelson South West goldfield, whose entry in the New Zealand Encyclopaedia states was famed in the colony for 'his ingenuity and daring'. In the first letter, eight pages long and written in 1870, the Governor of New Zealand Sir George Ferguson Bowen discusses 'the Maori difficulty', stating that 'such a race as the Maoris [...] are more than a match for most English both as soldiers and as diplomatists', and that 'New Zealand is the future "Great Britain of the South."' The second letter reports the opinion of T. A. Sneyd Kynnersley of the Rev. George Cotterill: 'the best specimen of a hero that I am acquainted with'. Both items are in good condition, lightly aged. ONE: Autograph Letter Signed from Sir George Ferguson Bowen (1821-1899; Oxford DNB) to Joseph Sandars (1821-1893), former Conservative MP for Yarmouth. 26 March 1870; on embossed letterhead of Government House, New Zealand. 8pp, 12mo. On two bifoliums. Folded twice. With good bold signature 'G. F. Bowen', and addressed to 'J. Sandars Esqr.' Bowen begins with the news that Sandars' note was forwarded to him 'by Mr. Kynnersley from Nelson, where he is stationed, & wh. is 600 miles from Auckland'. Bowen's wife has received a note from 'Lady Virginia', i.e. Sandars' wife the novelist Lady Virginia Sandars (1828-1922), daughter of the Marquess of Headford. Regarding the son he states that 'Mr. Kynnersley requires no recommendation for he has distinguished himself more than once by his courage & activity in trying times. I have not yet seen him as he was re-employed in the South Island directly on his return from England, but I have written to him to say that we shall be glad to see him whenever he can visit Auckland or Wellington, at each of wh. places there is a Govt. House. We divide the year between them, but prefer Auckland, wh. is the most charming residence I know in the world, - having the climate & scenery of [?] but with better society & a more healthy temperature - no malaria, or scirocco. Our house here is excellent. In the South Island there are the mountains & glaciers of Switzerland, with the fiords of Norway. On the whole, New Zealand wd. be delightful, if we could only get rid of the Maori difficulty. As you suppose, my position has been one of some difficulty for I am the first Governor that has ever had to contend with a formidable rebellion against the authority of the Queen without the aid of a single soldier or shilling from England. And we have had as many rebels in arms during the last two years as we ever had during the years when there was an army of 10,000 regular troops in the Colony. But the policy towards the Nations wh. I have inaugurated seems likely to succeed beyond all hope and expectation. Nothing, however, can be certain in dealing with such a race as the Maoris, who are more than a match for most English both as soldiers and as diplomatists.' He refers to 'Sir John & Lady Young', who were 'most kind and hospitable to Lady Bowen at Sydney', and are now in Canada, commenting: 'I was not able to leave Queensland, & have not seen them since 1859'. He does not know when he can return to England: 'Eleven years are a long period to be absent from one's Country. However: - "Omne solum forti patria est," and New Zealand is the future "Great Britain of the South." TWO: Autograph Letter Signed from the classical scholar and educator Rev. Reginald Broughton (1836-1912), for whom see Alum. Cantab., to Thomas Clement Sneyd Kynnersley (1803-1892), who was married to Sandars' sister. Signed 'R Broughton' and addressed to 'T. C. Sneyd Kynnersley.' 11 March 1866; Vallombrosa [i.e. Vallombrosa preparatory school], Cheltenham. 4pp, 12mo. Bifolium. Endorsed in pencil: 'Very interesting letter about Alfred SK'. Begins: 'My dear Cousin Tom, | I congratulate on Alfred having been appointed R[esident] M[agistrate]. at Greymouth & his getting away from the Dismal Swamp at Deep Creek. I had a letter last mail from "Our Mutual Friend" G. Cotterill [Rev. George Cotterill (1814-1902)] who gives a most cheering account of Alfred. He says (11th. Decr 1865) "Since last Wednesday Kynnersley has been in Nelson & he hopes to start today in the S. S. Eleanor for the Grey and in the Capacity of Warden & Residential Magistrate of those fields of Gold. He is the best specimen of a hero that I am acquainted with. | As you know, he is delicate, yet with his courage modesty & talent he has the power of going through brilliantly on account of mental & physical work that is quite beyond the scope of the usual lot here." Cotterill speaks of Alfred with respect, and 'does not say anything of Alfred's mischief at Wellington, which Harriet mentions in her letter. Did he tell you of his getting capsized in the harbour there & losing his carpet bag?' He describes a similar occurrence which 'very nearly happened as my wife & I were embarking on board the "Blue Jacket" at Lyttelton'. He has heard that 'the Grey [...] is a "fine" Open Country, with a broad expanse of flat Country [...] I see in a Nelson paper they have formed a Company for working coal there besides the Gold Diggings'. He ends in the hope that he will 'see Edmund' in Oxford, and with 'regards to Annie'.