Saturday, December 17, 2016


Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXVIII, Issue 4666, 8 August 1872

John MacPherson
Store-keeper, of Richmond, Bay of Plenty and the owner of a cutter called the "Leah".
 Auckland Star, Volume VIII, Issue 2433, 9 January 1878


We regret to announce the wreck of the cutter Leah, of 14 tons register, the property of our respected fellow settler, Mr John Macpherson, of Matata. The Leah left Auckland on Saturday, 22nd June, bound for Matata with a general cargo of merchandize. She was caught in a storm after leaving, and took shelter under the Great Barrier ; both her anchors parted, and the vessel went on the rocks, all efforts to get her off proved futile; the crew and cargo were saved by the schooner Fairy; the former consisting of Captain Coombes, and a young man named Conway. At last advices the Customs' steam launch had proceeded to the scene of the wreck for the purpose of making a survey. The cutter was insured in the South British Insurance Company for £200.

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume VI, Issue 605, 6 July 1878

The following horse stock has been purchased in Melbourne by Mr John Macpherson, of Matata, and will arrive by the s.s. Hero :—

Bay filly, 2 years, got by Patriarch, her dam Rosabella, by Panic from Rosabella, by Gohanna (son of Wanderer) from Rosabella by Peter Fin from Merino by Buffalo from Merino (imported) ;

bay filly, 2 years, got by Panic, her dam Josephine, by Boiardo from Wando, by Cossack out of Fair Helen, Rous' Emigrant;

brown filly, 2 years, got by Patriarch, her dam Rosaline, by Wildair from Miss Pink, by Nimrod out of Lacy, by Gratis;

bay filly, 2 years, got by Panic, her dam Phillis, by Richview from Phillipine, by the Premier from Matilda, by Tohrab. This filly is full sister to Filibuster and Earl of Mar. She is engaged in Mares Produce Stakes.

Auckland Star, Volume X, Issue 3043, 21 January 1880


The following renewals were granted, there being no opposition :-—

... John MacPherson, Horse Shoe Inn, Matata...

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume IX, Issue 895, 8 June 1880

A late arrival from the Coast informs us that our old and much respected settler, Mr John Macpherson of Te Matata, is seriously ill. The natives who have arrived from the Coast speak in the kindest and most sympathetic manner of the concern and anxiety manifested in the restoration of their "friend's" health.

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XIII, Issue 1744, 27 September 1884

We learned last evening that Mr J. McPherson, of Matata, has obtained the contract for the mail service between Te Puke and Opotiki.

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XIII, Issue 1780, 23 December 1884

Eruption of Mt Tarawera
... a native, who escaped from Ruawhia, on the Whakutane side of Lake Tarawera, states that from where he was he could see the settlement of Te Ariki, between Rotomahana and Wairoa, destroyed, killing Samuel Brown and about 40 natives. Another native warned Mr McPherson, of Matata, and George Creek, of Whakatane, that Lake Tarawera has risen about 30 or 40 feet, and also that it rose before the late eruption. This last information was received by Mr Gordon from Mr Creek at 3 p.m., but I cannot find out if the rising occurred to-day ...
Te Aroha News, Volume IV, Issue 157, 19 June 1886

Referring back again to the Tarawera disaster, I have learned a few particulars relative to one of the European victims who perished at Te Ariki, viz., Samuel Brown, who, with his wife, Merepeka Poia, and six half caste children, met with such an untimely end. Brown served his apprenticeship in Auckland about 15 years ago, as a journeyman baker. Two years after he was engaged by Mr. John Macpherson, of Matata, and for the last five years or so he was variously employed in the Rotorua district. Brown's parents are supposed to be living in Auckland, and probably are not aware of the melancholy circumstance of his death.

New Zealand Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 7719, 18 August 1886


It is our sad duty to chronicle the death of Mr John McPherson, of Matata. who departed this life on Saturday morning the 13th inst. at the comparatively early age of 54 years, the cause of his death being bronchitis. In this gentleman's decease the district has lost a good and enterprising settler, and mankind a sterling true and goodhearted man. Our loss is the more to be deplored as his was a natural character rare to find, kind, generous, hospitable and loyal to his friends whether their circumstances were prosperous or adverse.

"And the elements so mixed in him, that nature 

Might stand up, and say to all the world.
This was a man!"

He had seen many phases of life and had gone through a few years of Indian warfare in the States during the early days of the Californian goldfields. Five weeks ago he left his home to be near medical advice, and for a time he improved, but later he suffered a relapse from which he never recovered and got gradually weaker, though everything was done for him that medical assistance and the constant care and solicitude of his friends could do until death terminated his sufferings, and set his spirit free to ascend to the Great Creator and giver of life. Requiecat in pace.

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XV, Issue 2176, 15 August 1887

The Borough Council meeting was adjourned from to-day till 2 o'clock to-morrow out of respect to the memory of Mr John Macpherson.

The funeral of the late Mr John Macpherson which left Mr DeBourbels shortly after half past two to-day was largely attended.

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XV, Issue 2176, 15 August 1887

Much regret has been felt here at the death of John MacPherson of Matata. Few men have passed away who have left more sorrowing friends and fewer enemies. It may be said of him as of Bayard that he was sans peur et sans reproche [without fear and without reproach].

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XV, Issue 2181, 26 August 1887

 Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XV, Issue 2193, 23 September 1887

Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XV, Issue 2280, 14 May 1888
... Some twenty years ago I had an almost similar experience in the surf off Opotiki. In the boat with me on that occasion were the late John Macpherson (of Matata), Mark Talbot, and a man named Fox. The last-named was drowned, and the rest of us only reached the land with great difficulty. We were saved then by sticking to the boat. Always stick to the boat when capsized in the surf—that is, while you can... 
New Zealand Herald, Volume XXVIII, Issue 8684, 29 September 1891


The question of the validity of a marriage between a European named John Macpherson and a Maori woman named Miriana te Oha, fifty years ago at Matata, was investigated by the Chief Justice (Sir Robert Stout) at the Supreme Court yesterday afternoon and again this morning.

The issue arose in an originating summons case in which his Honour was asked to state whether the children of the late John Macpherson, who died in 1887, were entitled to share, in the estate of his brother, Malcolm Macpherson, who died intestate at Eastbourne,. England, in 1917, such estate being valued at  £15,000. Mr. H. E. Evans appeared for the widow of Malcolm Macpherson, and Mr. E. P.  Bunny for the widow and children of the late John Macpherson.

Mariana te Oha (or Mariana Macpherson) deposed that she was legally married to John Macpherson in 1870 at Matata .The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Father Macdonald in a building used as a Roman Catholic church.  "Father Macdonald signed a piece of paper upon which was some writing, and gave it to me," deponent stated. "This piece of paper was kept by me in a Bible, and was lost, to getter with most of my belongings in a fire which destroyed my home at Matata in the year 1905. I was about 20 years of age at the time of the ceremony. Until the death of John Macpherson, in 1887, he and I lived devotedly and happily together as man and wife. We lived for the greater part of such period at Matata, and also spent several years in Tauranga. All of the persons who were present at my marriage with John Macpherson are dead." Several affidavits were put in stating that the deponents believed Mariana te Oha and John Macpherson were legally married.

Further hearing of the case was at noon to-day adjourned until Monday. 
Evening Post, Volume XCIX, Issue 151, 26 June 1920

To English Estate
Wellington, Sept 17

Sir R. Stout had before him an originating summons to determine the legality of the marriage of John MacPherson, of Matata, who was believed to be married to a Maori woman named Mariana Teoha, and if the union were legal the children were entitled to share in the estate of their uncle, Malcolm MacPherson, of England. John MacPherson died at Matata in 1887, leaving several children.

The Chief Justice said there was no evidence of the authorisation of the marriage by any registrar or any certificate by any registrar or clergyman. It was agreed that MacPherson Jived as man and wife, and were generally regarded as such. Some feast or celebration was held to commemorate the marriage, and Mariana said it took place in the Roman Catholic Chapel at Matata with Father MacDonald, now dead, officiating. MacPherson, however, was a Presbyterian, and no register could be adduced. Several witnesses said they always looked on the pair as married. It was a common practice for white men to contract what was called a Maori marriage with native women, but it had never been recognised by law as valid. Moreover, at the time, Mariana was under age, and no consent was given by her guardian, properly appointed. He therefore ruled there was no evidence that the marriage took place. 
Bay of Plenty Times, Volume XLIX, Issue 7498, 18 September 1920

To get to Tauranga, then the chief settlement of the Bay of Plenty, Precce had to go down the Rangitaiki River by boat and get a horse at Matata. That township, be it noted, was quite a little seaport in the seventies. Schooners and cutters entered the mouth of the Awa-a-te-Atua there, and military stores from Auckland were often landed close to where the Horse Shoe Inn stood in later days. Now Matata's barport has long been closed; the place is a backwater, for new outlets for the Tarawera and Rangitaiki Rivers have been opened miles away.

Auckland Star, Volume LVIII, Issue 232, 1 October 1927

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