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Charles Flinders Hursthouse
Charles Hursthouse was born: 07 Jan 1817 in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire and died 22 Nov 1876 in Wellington He was buried at Te Henui Cemetery, New Plymouth. Headopted the name of Flinders as his father Charles Hursthouse was a distant relation and friend of Mathew Flinder's and an executor of his will.
John Hursthouse with his family, brother Charles jnr. and cousin Thomas Newsham came to New Zealand on the ship Thomas Sparks in 1843. Upon arrival at Wellington, Charles Hursthouse and Thomas Newsham set off overland to New Plymouth while John and family awaited a steamer to take them and luggage around the coast. This walk after being cooped up on the long sea voyage was to be duplicated by other relations - George Curtis husband of Thomas Newsham's sister Eliza documented this walk with cousin John Stephenson Smith (husband of Hannah Hursthouse) after arrival on the "Pekin" leaving Wellington on 29th of December 1849 and and shortly after this, brothers James and Henry Richmond landed in Auckland on 1 February 1851 on the "Victory" in October, and they decided to walk south to Taranaki.
New Plymouth was a planned settlement, initiated by the Plymouth Company in 1840 and later subsumed into the programme of managed colonisation promoted by the New Zealand Company. Underpinning that programme was a stream of propaganda designed to entice potential colonists. Charles Hursthouse describing the Taranaki province, wrote that ‘a man whose life in England has been a constant weary struggle to maintain his situation, but who sees with bitterness that his children must descend in the social scale, may soon create a fine estate, and live ten years longer to enjoy it. Pursuing the theme of social elevation, Hursthouse suggested that in Taranaki a tenant farmer would ‘soon rise up to be the independent proprietor’, while even a ‘halfstarved labourer may revel in rude plenty, build his own house on his own land, and soon raise himself to comfort and prosperity’.
New Zealander, 5 July 1848: Our settlers have hitherto been so busily engaged with their cultivations, and other employments, that few amongst those of them who are qualified, have had time to contribute to the newspapers in the other settlements, statements relative to the capabilities of Taranaki, or to prepare a work descriptive of their, beautiful district, whilst all have admitted the necessity there has long existed for such publicity through the press. We are now however delighted to know that Mr. Charles Hursthouse, a gentleman of considerable abilities, has completed a work, almost exclusively on the resources of the district, and containing a map of the settlement at New Plymouth. The MSS. has been submitted to several of the settlers most distinguished for talents, and they have pronounced it to merit the highest praise. Mr. Hursthouse intends to proceed to England immediately, and while there will publish his work. We hope it will have the effect of bringing our almost unknown self-supporting settlement into notice, so that our rich furniture woods, whale fisheries, minerals, immeasurable plains of the greatest fertility, the practicability of making a harbour, by building a short breakwater, (an abundance of material seemingly placed by nature on the spot for the purpose), may become more generally known in the mother country; and also, by truly delineating the present state of the roadstead, contradict the dangerous character which has been widely circulated respecting it, by mentioning the fact of one vessel only being lost out of the numbers which have visited the settlement, during its eight years existence.
Taranaki Herald, 11 October 1854: The fine ship Joseph Fletcher, of Messrs. Willis's line of packets, arrived here directfrom England on Wednesday evening last, having 60 passengers, 25 of whom remain here, the rest being for Auckland. The Joseph Fletcher left Gravesend on the 19th June, and from stress of weather, was obliged to put into Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, where she remained two days. Just before passing the Needles saw the Himalaya, Royal Mail steamer, aground, and made the Land's End on 2nd July. Arrived off the Cape on the Ist Sept., and sighted New Zealand at 5 o'clock on the morning of the 3rd making the passage in 93 days. Mr. Charles Hursthouse. well known as one of the earlier settlers of this district, returned from England by the Joseph Fletcher. This gentleman for years past has been in England the untiring advocate of New Zealand emigration, and by his writings and lectures has materially contributed to the colonization of this settlement. He was warmly welcomed by all his old friends. We understand that Mr. Hursthouse's visit is only a temporary one, and that he is about to make the tour of the settlements with the view of bettering his information of the present position and prospects of the different districts of New Zealand previous to his return to England to resume his labours.
Evening Post, 23 November 1876: DEATH OF MR. C.F.HURSTHOUSE.